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Maven firmware on NXP’s MCU-Link debug probe

Up until recently, Maven firmware (the one with ARM Cortex-M debug capability) has only been available with the original wAVR hardware. Unfortunately the firmware has outgrown the Flash/SRAM available on that board, and the replacement “Maven2” board is not ready for prime time (for a myriad of reasons).

Rather than waiting for Maven2 to be production-ready, you can now download, for free, a version of the firmware for NXP’s MCU-Link Debug Probe. The MCU-Link is an inexpensive (around $11) USB debug probe which normally ships with firmware supporting the standard CMSIS-DAP interface. Fortunately for us, the factory firmware can be replaced very easily with a port of Maven.

Maven on MCU-Link has all the same debug capabilities as you’d find on the native hardware:

  • Supports many ARM Cortex-M SoCs from ST Microelectronics and Microchip, plus the NXP LPC55S69 on the MCU-Link itself.
  • Built-in GDB server accessible over USB.
  • Thread-aware debugging for FreeRTOS and NuttX.
  • Semi-Hosting support for console I/O, file read/write, time-of-day, etc.
  • Device detection is fully automatic – no configuration files or command-line options necessary, and no middle-ware running on on your host computer.
  • Supports Cortex-M SWO serial data in NRZ mode at up to 3 MHz over USB.
  • Target communications via serial port and/or Semi-Hosted I/O available over USB.

Maven on MCU-Link is still a work-in-progress and updates will likely come thick and fast. The best part is that it will remain a free download.

Feedback, as usual, to Alternatively, @maverick on the 1BitSquared Discord server.