A bunch of Freescale Kinetis SVD files, and Lua code to turn them into Forth.
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One of the issues with rolling your own language - especially if, like muforth, it is a cross-compiler that targets microcontrollers - is that you need to find or create, for every chip you care about, "equates" files that describe the i/o registers, their memory addresses, and their bit definitions.

It's a lot of work - and error-prone - to type these in by hand. For the Freescale S08 and the Atmel AVR I was able to get pretty good results by "scraping" the PDF files by hand (yes, by hand, with a mouse), pasting the results into a file, and then running code that processed the text into a useful form.

For the STM32 ARM microcontrollers I wrote code that shoddily "parses" the .h files (which I found in their "Std Periph Lib" and STM32Cube zip files - I tried both) and prints out muforth code.

When I went looking for something similar for Freescale's Kinetis microcontrollers, I found the "Kinetis SDK", but was unable to find a recent (2.0) version that had definitions for all their chips. It doesn't seem to exist for 2.0. All I could find is the 1.3 version, which seems pretty old (it's from 2015).

In the 662 MiB zip file (!!) that I downloaded, I found the gold mine. In


there is a directory for each chip, and in that directory is a CMSIS-SVD file - a gawdawful XML file that describes all the registers and register fields. I've included all of the CMSIS-SVD files here, in the directory SVD/.

These files got me started, but since then I've discovered Keil's CMSIS-Pack project and their meta-repository. The idea is that vendors can make available - via a simple web API - updated "packs" that describe a chip or a board. By downloading Keil's pack index it's easy to find what packs each vendor makes available.

Getting Started with MCUXpresso SDK CMSIS Packs - a document from November 2017 - talks about "CMSIS packs downloaded from MCUXpresso packs repository", including "Device Family Packs", which contain the following:

  • Device header files and system initialization modules
  • Startup files
  • Linker files
  • SVD files
  • Flash drivers (for some of the development tools)
  • SDK drivers and utilities
  • SDK project templates

Sounds perfect, right? There are a bunch of NXP DFP packs in Keil's pack index, and I've added Lua code to parse the index, and a Makefile target to download and unzip the likely culprits.

I'm not the only one with this problem. Even the Zephyr project is struggling with getting up-to-date header files for NXP/Freescale chips.

How do I use this?

First you need to run

make update

This will download the current index of CMSIS-Pack files from Keil, then download a bunch of "device family pack" (DFP) files from NXP and populate the SVD/NXP_DFP/ directory with the SVD files found therein (these have a .xml extension, unlike the files from the Kinetis SDK which have a .svd extension.)

I wrote two Lua scripts:

  • parse-svd.lua - parses the SVD file's XML into a big Lua table and prints it out
  • print-regs.lua - slurps in that big Lua table and prints out register (and register field) definitions, and the interrupt vector table, in a form that muforth can understand.

The default Makefile target builds a "FRDM boards" subset of the chips. Running


will process the SVD files for this subset, first by generating a Lua representation of the SVD file, and then reading that in and generating a muforth (.mu4) file. By combining the downloaded DFP files with the Kinetis SDK files, I'm able to generate .mu4 files for 23 of the 25 FRDM boards that are shown on the MCUXpresso SDK Builder.

make kl

will process all the Kinetis L SVD files into .mu4 files; and

make everything

will process all the SVD files into .mu4 files, but it's also much slower.

What if my chip is missing from the list?

It's possible to use the MCUXpresso SDK Builder to build and download a "custom" SDK. After untarring or unzipping you'll find the SVD file for your chip in the ./devices/<chip>/<chip>.xml file.)

Copy the <chip>.xml file to SVD/custom/ and type

make <chip>.mu4

It should generate first a Lua file and then your .mu4 file!

What else can I do?

The infrastructure is there to generate any kind of output from the Lua-fied SVD files. If you have a favorite language that needs "equates" files for a Kinetis microcontroller, go forth and modify!


See the LICENSE file for details.