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Using a timer on a Kinetis processor

Question asked by Gary Lynch on Mar 11, 2019
Latest reply on Mar 22, 2019 by Mark Butcher

I wish to use a timer on a Kinetis processor. In particular I wish to equip my MK10FX512VLQ12 with a crystal or external oscillator and program it in such a way that I can generate an interrupt every millisecond (or 50 Hz cycle or 60 Hz cycle, or at 10:37:51 am EST every February 29). When I am done, I want to understand what I have constructed, so that when the thing doesn't work, I can troubleshoot it.


I don't want a debugged source deck that solves the problem for me, as it teaches me nothing.


I started with the "K10 Sub-Family Reference Manual" (Document Number: K10P32M50SF0RM, Rev. 2, Feb 2012). Within I found a number of peripherals that could be called timers:

  • The System Oscillator,
  • The RTC Oscillator,
  • The System Tick Timer,
  • The Programmable Delay Block,
  • The Multi-Purpose Clock Generator,
  • The FlexTimer,
  • The Low Power Timer.


There are other peripherals that affect the distribution of clock signals, especially:

  • The System Integration Module.


Each of these peripherals has a chapter showing how to program it, but I can find no bird's eye view showing how they are connected to each other, who provides a source signal for whom, in what order can I program them to get maximum flexibility?


Figure 5-1 on page 134 comes close to this goal, as it shows connections between 4 of the sub-systems listed above in an easy-to-grasp graphic.


Where do I find out how the rest interconnect?


This is part of a broader question which looks something like "How does NXP support engineers who want to understand this chip?"


Advance thanks for your insights.