Freescale introduces KwikStik development tool for Kinetis microcontrollers

Cost-effective tool combines low-power MCU with integrated debugger and development and run-time software bundle for rapid development

AUSTIN, Texas – March 31, 2011 – Freescale Semiconductor today announced the KwikStik development tool, a cost-effective, all-in-one development tool used for evaluating, developing and debugging with Freescale’s Kinetis line of microcontrollers (MCUs) built on the ARM® Cortex™-M4 core. Complementing the larger Freescale Tower System development platform, the KwikStik development tool provides an additional toolset option in a small-form-factor design for developers using Kinetis MCUs.

All-in-one development tool

The KwikStik development tool combines a J-Link debug probe, low-power touch sensing, a segment LCD user interface and a suite of development and run-time software. It is designed to be used several ways – as a standalone, battery-operated tool for development using the on-board Kinetis K40 MCU; as an additional tool with the Tower System or as a J-Link debugger. By combining the KwikStik development tool with the Tower System, developers have access to multiple system expansion options using Freescale and third-party peripheral modules that offer sensing and wireless and industrial connectivity (including Wi-Fi). The integrated SEGGER J-Link debug interface eliminates the need for a separate debug probe, providing a significant cost savings.

“We created KwikStik to give developers a small, economical tool option for rapid development with our Kinetis MCUs,” said Jeff Bock, director of product marketing for Freescale’s Industrial and Multi-Market MCU business. “It gives developers easy access to the industry-proven SEGGER J-link on the board and an expansive collection of Tower System development cards.”

“Freescale's decision to include the SEGGER J-link technology offers their customers the optimal debug solution,” said Shane Titus, SEGGER managing director for U.S. Operations. “We believe the KwikStik is one of the best embedded development kits in the market.”

Easy to use

The KwikStik development tool offers a range of low-power, mixed-signal, human machine interface and connectivity and communications peripherals. The Kinetis K40 MCU at the core of the KwikStik features 256 KB of on-chip flash memory and an equivalent amount of FlexMemory, allowing ample space for application code. The bundled Processor Expert tool supporting Kinetis MCUs helps designers write application code for even complex software requirements. Using Freescale’s Processor Expert auto-code generator, developers can quickly build their own custom peripheral driver library, optimized and validated to their needs. This feature, embedded within the Eclipse™-based CodeWarrior 10.1 integrated development environment (IDE), simplifies a developer’s software architecture and can reduce development time.

Powerful software bundle and support

Kinetis MCUs are supported by the CodeWarrior 10.1 IDE with a complimentary C compiler, supporting up to 128 KB of object code. Additional IDE options are available from IAR Systems, Keil™, Green Hills and CodeSourcery. All Kinetis MCUs are also supported by the complimentary Freescale MQX™ real-time operating system with integrated scheduler, file system, TCP/IP and USB stacks, as well as support for graphic LCD and encryption plug-ins.

“The KwikStik represents a quick and easy way to get to know the Kinetis family,” said Fredrik Medin, director of Marketing for IAR Systems. “With integrated support for both MQX and J-Link, and with lots of ready-made examples and templates, IAR Embedded Workbench provides a user-friendly tool set that lets you get started with Kinetis in just minutes. It is a perfect match to the KwikStik.”

Price and availability

The KwikStik development tool is now available to order for a special introductory price of $29 (USD) from Freescale and its distribution partners. For more information, visit www.freescale.com/kwikstik.

About the Freescale Technology Forum

Created to drive innovation and collaboration, the Freescale Technology Forum (FTF) has become the developer event of the year for the embedded systems industry. The Forum has drawn more than 40,000 customers at FTF events worldwide since its inception in 2005. Our annual flagship event, FTF Americas, will take place June 20-23, 2011, in its new location in San Antonio, Texas.

About Freescale Semiconductor

Freescale Semiconductor is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets. The privately held company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing and sales operations around the world. www.freescale.com.