Monday, 27 January 2014

Program the flash memory on NXP LPC1769 (put a program on the LCP1769)


Using the Program Flash feature of LPCXpresso is the easiest way to get a program on an LPC1769 board, it does not require you to flash the board using a command line, it does not requires you to build that program in the IDE, it does not necessitate to start a debug sessing, with this method you can flash on a board a program that was written in an earlier version of the IDE without going through the assle of updating someone else code.
LPC1769 Board from Embedded Artists

 Some terminology used in this arcticle

  •  EA = E.mbedded A.rtists (this is the company that produce the board shown above, other versions are avaiblable too but this one is quite versatile and not too costly)
  •  NXP = NXP semiconductors, a company associated with Phillips that makes Microcontrollers
  •  IC = I.ntegrated C.ircuit ( this is a Silicon Chip that does a specific work, it might be a lot of things)
  • ADC = A.nalog D.igital C.onverter ( this is an device that reads analog voltages and convert it to digital data usable in processors)
  • PWM = P.ulse W.idth M.odulator (this device generate a frequency which On and OFF time vary)
  • IDE = I.ntegrated D.eveloppment E.nvironement (this is an application used to construct other applications)
  • MCU = Microcontroller (this is an IC that contains a processor, some RAM, some built in peripherals like ADC ,PWM ,Timers, Digital Inputs and Output), like an old computer with low power ,used to do tasks that require real time precision)
  • UI = U.ser I.nterface ( this is buttons, dialogs, windows, textboxes, pictures that compose an application)

What will you learn today

The aim of this article is to learn how to put a program on the LPC1769 board from EA with the use of a PC, USB cable and the Program Flash feature in LPCXpresso IDE.


This is all you need + PC, cleverness and patience!


  • PC with powerfull USB ports,(What??, yeah ... the EA boards require a USB port with good power to be able to flash the memory without errors. Avoid laptops if possible since they generally have weaker USB ports) 
  • PC with Windows XP SP3 or above, Windows 7 64b was used for the writing of this guide
  • USB cable with a Mini-B end
USB with Mini-B end 


The current version used for this guide is 6.1.4 using the default installation application UI layout

Get the Windows installer on NXP LPCXpresso download section 
Install the IDE following default choices, install the drivers when asked to.
Do not start the IDE at the completition of the installation.
Connect the LPC1769 board to USB cable to PC.
Let the computer install automatically the drivers for the device.
After this is done you can now start LPCXpresso


Check  'use this as the default and do not ask again', this will be simpler every time you start this application.

Application mandatory registration

Not registered warning
At first startup, the application will complain that it is not registered. To be able to program the LPC1769 flash memory we need to register .Please follow the steps below to do so, it should take you 5-10m playing in a web browser and copy/paste text data. It's boring, but in the end programming flash memory is a lot easier than not registering and building yourself the application and starting a debug session to get the program on the MCU ;)

1- You need to create a free user account on here

 2- once you have a working account, you can register an intstalled copy of LPCXpresso

Here are the steps to register in pictures, quite easy

get a serial number and start registration process
Get Activation key from using your user account and the serial number.
After this you have a registered free version of the IDE and you can use the Program Flash feature that was disabled before registration.


First you need a project built specifically for you target Board, in today's case this is a LPC1769 project.

You need to import your project in the IDE by using the following actions 

File/Import ...
Choose General/existing projects
Choose 'Select archive file' then find your ZIP file, check everything from your archive file then finish

Now that the project is imported in the Workspace you can install the  existing *.afx file on the LPC1769

Select your project in the Project Explorer
Then press on the Silicon Chip Icon , this is the Program Flash feature

LPCXpresso will initialize the LPC1769 board driver then display the Program Flash Dialog that will allow you at last to program the Board, the target board was detected by LPCXpresso and do not need to be changed

After you hit OK a progress dialog should appear and tell you if it succeeded or not. In case it did not succeed, think about using another USB port or even another computer, remember to avoid laptops for this task.
You have now finished with the IDE and therefore can close it


You now have a program on your LPC1769, everytime the board will be powered the program there will automatically start.