USBDM  V4.12
USBDM Kinetis Debugger and Programmer


The FRM-xxxx boards from Freescale includes a minimal SWD based debugging interface for ARM Kinetis targets. The interface hardware is simple but flexible enough to be used with a wide range of Kinetis devices. The board includes provision for the connector necessary to allow programming of external devices as well as the target device on the board.

Unfortunately the existing debugger firmware available with the FRDM-xxxx boards is specifically tied to the target chip on the board (e.g. MKL25Z128M4). In fact, it is tied to the individual serial number of the chip on the board and cannot even be used to program other otherwise identical devices. Changing the chip on the board renders the debugging interface useless.

This manual describes a version of the USBDM firmware that can be loaded into the KL20 based debugging interface on any of the FRDM boards. This allows its use as a general purpose programmer and debugger for Kinetis devices (including the on board target chip e.g. KL25 on the board). This provides a very inexpensive debugging tool.

While the USBDM firmware may be used with any of the FRDM-xxxx boards it is recommended to use a FRDM-KL25Z or FRDM-K20D50M board as some of the early versions of the other boards have various hardware errors that make connection to an external device difficult. Another attractive choice is the FRDM-K64F. The advantage of this board is that it contains a controlled power supply and already has the required 10-pin connector present.

Quick Links


This version of the USBDM code combined with the FRDM-xxxx board provides the following features:

  • A SWD interface for programming and debugging of Kinetis ARM-Cortex microcontrollers.
  • Both the on-board target device (e.g. MKL25Z128M4) and external devices may be programmed.
  • Installation of the USBDM software does not require any tools other than the FRDM-KL25Z board.
  • Compatible IDEs
    • Codewarrior V10.x (Eclipse version). The following features are provided:
      • Kinetis - Integration of USBDM debug interface in wizards and debug functions.
    • Eclipse (including Freescale Kinetis Design Studio). The following features are provided:
      • Kinetis New Project Wizard
      • Kinetis USBDM debug target
      • Integration of GCC tools (GNU tools for ARM or KDS tools)
      • Peripheral Register view tailored for Kinetis devices.
  • Stand-alone Kinetis programmer utility.
  • Linux compatible
  • Windows compatible
  • The Firmware in the BDM may be updated using the usual FRDM-KL25 Bootloader function.
  • The original board software may be restored if USBDM is not found suitable.

The capabilities and features of the USBDM interface varies between the different versions of hardware. Not all of the functionality described in the following pages may apply to this version.


  • Image - FRDM-KL25 with debug cable and Connector (also shown soldered on the board)



  • The original base code is taken from the TBDML, OSBDM and TBLCF projects and I very much appreciate the effort involved in producing the original code. I hope this extension will be useful.



Any queries please post on the Freescale OSBDM and TBDML Discussion Board.


   Portions of this software is based on TBLCF software
   Portions of this software is based on OSBDM software
   Portions of this software is based on TBDML software

   Copyright (C) 2007-13  Peter O'Donoghue

   Opensource BDM (OSBDM)
   Copyright (C) ?

   Turbo BDM Light (TBDML)
   Copyright (C) 2005  Daniel Malik

   Turbo BDM Light ColdFire (TBLCF)
   Copyright (C) 2005  Daniel Malik

   This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
   it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
   the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
   (at your option) any later version.

   This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
   but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
   GNU General Public License for more details.

   You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
   along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
   Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA  02111-1307  USA