USBDM based Freescale Programmer. Cheap and Reliable alternative to Multilink, Cyclone, J-Link...

Microcontroller programmers are always one of the things to take into account when you work with embedded systems. They are usually quite expensive if you want good features like advanced debugging, standalone programming or mass production features.

As I design hardware for consumer we produce several thousands of each board and programming time is a keystone to achieve a good cost for each unit, so we usually need to prepare more than three or four programming fixtures.

In case of Freescale Kinetis family, mass production tool from P&E is the Cyclone Max but the price is not very friendly if you need to develop a low cost board.

This is the main reason of this little project: to create a cheap (nearly free) Freescale programmer.

If you see any Freedom board you will see a dedicated coprocessor for debugging tasks. In this coprocessor there is a bootloader to load the main application, and the debug application. It usually uses OpenSDAv1, but it is not open source and cannot be used on commercial applications.

In this way USBDM has been developed to be a universal tool for all Freescale microcontrollers:

  • RS08
  • HCS08
  • HC12
  • Coldfide v1-4
  • MC56F800xx
  • Kinetis ARM-cortex

It was developed to work with Codewarrior but it is fully compatible to be used fully integrated in KDS. It can be used as debugger and production tool and all production software and API with all documentation is provided to run over Windows or Linux.

With this software all we need now is a cheap hardware to run USBDM and start debugging or mass programming and as it could not be in other way I designed a USB dongle based on a MK20 processor.


Really simple, right? But very powerful!!

In the next post I will explain how to install all USBDM environment and drivers and show how to program an empty processor from scratch using this tool.

Feel free to get in contact with me to obtain your USBDM programmer!!

See you soon!!