I am a pro AVR developer using the Atmel Studio 6. Recently I have plans to shift to ARM development and ordered a LPC2148 ARM7 processor from NXP semiconductors.

Firstly, ARM learning curve is really steep, that I can manage.

The main problem I am facing is the lack of a unified free IDE that will enable me to work with the processor.

The candidates I found are:

  • Keil MDK 5 for ARM, which is not free
  • Crossworks for ARM, which is both premium and has header files missing and is really confusing
  • emIDE, which is free but the IDE is very primitive and needs a lot of expertise to develop
  • LPCXpresso, which is something I have seen in no tutorials

There may be other IDEs. I don't know about them. Can someone please help me in finding a free version of an IDE which is smart and helps in coding for the ARM7 platform that is my micro-controller?

  • 1
    What operating system do you use? Are you writing barebones code or programming applications running on an OS? Commented May 2, 2015 at 12:30
  • See... I will explain in detail... To start with, I wanna run the ADC at 4MHz and then send the sampled data at that speed through USB to a software in my Windows Laptop... Commented May 2, 2015 at 12:44

1 Answer 1


I'm using Keil and AFAIK Lite version can be used freely with 32kB code limitation. Last I've checked other commercial environments (e.g. IAR) are similar, that is there is some limited version with no cost.

Since LPCXpresso would be IDE used for sample projects from NXP I would stick with it, unless there are multiple project files available (for STM32 samples there are usually IDE project files for 4-5 different environments included).

  • Im currently downloading the LPCXpresso IDE... I hope it does provide a warm and familiar environment otherwise new platform feels very tough... Commented May 2, 2015 at 17:07
  • Thanks a ton... LPCXpresso is brilliant... And 256KB of code limit is more than what I need... Commented May 4, 2015 at 19:39

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