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How to start with Stellaris LM3S811 Evaluation Board


When I got selected in Texas Instruments MCU contest, then I start working on it and learned alot. In this site I will share my experience and knowledge with the LM3S811 evaluation kit. The company itself provided me an LM3S811 evaluation board for doing the project. When I got mail from the company about the tool, I expected a lot about evaluation board. But when I received the tool from the TI Company, I was really surprised that EK-LM3S811-ND evaluation kit contains just two main IC’s soldered on PCB and an USB cable for power and communication purpose. Initially I don’t understand that what I will do with this simple board. Later I realized that the evaluation board is not just a simple PCB, it’s a tool with a lot of options and operations inbuilt in it. That’s what actually an embedded programmer needs to develop an application within a short time and easily. TI developed and provided everything to us just you need to connect and program it.

The LM3S811 evaluation board contains inbuilt power supply, inbuilt serial communication (UART0) via  USB (virtual port), inbuilt In System Programming, inbuilt debugging (ICDI-no external debugger is needed), the same board acts an external debugger for other LM3S811 boards, User programmable LED and switch, reset switch, GPIO lines for external world interface.

Installation and working:

Installing and Working with Texas Instruments Stellaris LM3S811 Evaluation Board is very easy than any other in my experience. Let us know simple things about this board, firstly by seeing the LM3S811 evaluation board you can find mainly two processors of Texas instruments LM3S3601 and LM3S811. This stellaris board is becoming very famous for motion control, industrial automation and single board computing.

Actually these two processors are come from Luminary Micro Company based in Austin. Later it was acquired by Texas Instruments. Hence the IC’s have suffix LM (luminary Micro).

The LM3S3601 processor act as USB device controller on the board and it runs with 16MHz clock. This processor is main heart of the evaluation board, because through this all inbuilt are performed for example inbuilt debugging, virtual serial port, it acts external JTAG debugger for other LM3S811 board etc.

The LM3S811 is actual microcontroller through which you can develop the applications. To develop applications on LM3S811 you should have the knowledge about its internal architecture, memory, communication ports etc., all the details are available in the LM3S811 datasheet.

Installation of required tools before working with EK-LM3S811-ND eval  board:

The following tools to be installed in your PC, if you want to work with the EK-LM3S811-ND board.

1)      Install the LM3S811 board drivers.
2)      Install the IDE.
3)      Install the Stellaris Ware package.
4)      Install LM flash Programmer

All the above tools are available in your CD provide along with the EK-LM3S811-ND board or you can find those tools from the below link.

Install the LM3S811 board drivers:

When you connect the EK-LM3S811-ND eval board to the PC, the operating system (windows) it will show a pop-up “Found New Hardware Wizard” asking for drivers to be installed as shown figure 1.1

Figure 1.1 asking for ICDI debug port driver installation

While installing the drivers again it will operating system pop-up a window asking for passing window logo testing... as shown in figure 1.2, press “Continue Anyway” button.

Figure 1.2 windows logo testing verify

The same window with different driver names will pop-up three times for installing three types of drivers.

1)      ICDI Debug port.
2)      ICDI Serial port or ICDI serial peripheral.
3)      ICDI DFU device.
You simply accept all the drivers’ installation.

ICDI means is acronym for In-Circuit Debug Interface.
DFU means “Device Firmware Update”.

Install IDE for programming and debugging:

There are several IDE’s are available in the market like
1)      Code Composer studio.
2)      IAR Embedded Workbench
3)      KEIL.

Every IDE has its own capabilities, but Keil IDE is simple, more examples are available on internet and easy for beginners who exposed with keil in 8051 MCU’s.
Ok. Now Install the Keil MDK tool latest version or the version provided in your CD provided by TI Company.

Install the Stellaris Ware package:

A complete set of C-library covering all peripherals and functionality of the Stellaris device available in this package. This package will install in C:\StellarisWare package This StellarisWare package all variety of examples for testing peripherals like UART, LED, I2C, CAN, etc.,

Install the LM flash Programmer:

Install LM Flash Programmer provided in the CD tools folder. By using LM Flash Programmer you can update or rewrite your firmware available in USB controller IC called Dust Devil (LM3S3601) by loading .bin files via DFU port. You can burn the programs in to the LM3S811 IC by using this tool.

Now you can understand that why three drivers are installed for the EK-LM3S811-ND board.

1)      ICDI DFU port is used by the LM Flash programmer to update or overwrite the firmware.

2)      ICDI serial port is used as virtual communication port for serial communication via USB between PC and LM3S811 IC. LM3S811 has two UART (Uart0,Uart1) and It uses UART0 of LM3S811 IC as Virtual com port (see schematic diagram of the board in hardware folder). In the schematic the PA0 (Uart0Rx) and PA1(Uart0Tx) are connected to VCP out and VCP IN. VCP means virtual com port.
Virtual com port is nothing but a serial com port; this will come into picture when there is no physical serial peripheral or port for your PC. Generally laptops don’t have serial com ports (DB9 connector), so USB ports are configured as serial com port by installing required drivers. Hence it is called virtual com port.

3)      ICDI debug port is used for debugging operating along with IDE. In built debugging and programming minimises the time required to develop the embedded applications.


Testing LED blinking program on LM3S811 board with keil IDE:

1)      Open keil IDE software.

2)  Open project – “C:\Stellarisware\boards\{board-name}\blinky”   à these are the examples programs provided by the texas instrument company. These programs will loaded into the your computer when the Stellaris Ware package is installed.

3)      Edit the delay in the program by changing 200000 to 2000000 in the for loop and save it as shown in Figure 1.3.
for(ulLoop = 0; ulLoop < 200000; ulLoop++)
Now two onboard LEDs will blink with large delay.

Figure 1.3 shows the LED blink code for stellaris LM3S811 eval board in KEIL IDE.

4)      Build target by pressing F7 key on the keyboard or go to the project on menu, select rebuild all targets as shown in figure 1.4. If no errors and no warnings then your compilation and building is successful.

Figure 1.4 how to build the program on KEIL IDE for Stellaris LM3S811 eval board

5)      Now Load the “LM flash programmer” by double clicking on the ICON and choose LM3S811 Evaluation Board in Quick set menu as shown in figure 1.3

figure 1.5 LM FLASH programmer
6)      Select your required .bin file in the program tab and also select “RESET MCU after program” option as shown figure 1.6.

Figure 1.6 Selecting required setting on LM Flash Programmer.

7)      Click program button to burn your program in to LM3S811 IC as shown in figure 1.7.

Figure 1.7 programming .bin file into LM3S811 using LM Flash Programmer.


  1. Can u provide a code for interfacing atmel flash with lm3s6965(by TI).

  2. my windows couldnt find the hardware!! it has a got a trouble in detecting it.. help me out!!!!

    1. hi anand srinivasan what problem ur facing with ur PC. can u explain me in detail.


Thanks for visiting NPEDUCATIONS. We will contact you soon


mini said...

Can u provide a code for interfacing atmel flash with lm3s6965(by TI).

Anand Srinivasan said...

my windows couldnt find the hardware!! it has a got a trouble in detecting it.. help me out!!!!

Lovakiranvarma Myla said...

hi anand srinivasan what problem ur facing with ur PC. can u explain me in detail.

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