Software Setup for ARM LaunchPad Tutorial

I’ve been interested in trying out ARM microcontrollers for a long time – especially after dreaming up some projects that require building a USB device, and learning that I won’t touch them in university until my third year. Anyway, here’s an overview of how I got my TI ARM LaunchPad board up and running.


I’ve always found that documentation for microcontroller related stuff is pretty janky. It tends to assume a lot, and these assumptions are things that people unfamiliar with micros are unlikely to think about. Here are the steps I took and the tutorials I referenced for getting my launchpad going.


Get TivaWare

Download TivaWare and Code Composer Studio from here. Unfortunately you’ll need to make an account to do this, and fill in a form saying you’re not using the software for nefarious purposes. Extract the package into C drive, in a folder called TI (or something like that). I was having permissions issues when I tried running it out of any other folder.


Install TivaWare

Install TivaWare by going into the folder you just created >EK-TM4C123GXL-CCS-781 > TivaWare

This should install TivaWare and Code Composer Studio. There were some boxes to accept, so be around to monitor it.


Flash Programmer

Go into ti > EK-TM4C123GXL-CCS-781 > tools > LMFlashProgrammer and install that. It may already be installed for you.



After a bit of fiddling, I realized I needed the ICDI drivers. Here’s a tutorial on installing them. They’re in the EK-TM4C123GXL-CCS-781 folder under “drivers.”



Install Tera Term, PuTTY or some other terminal application.


Example Code

You’ll also need to download the example projects from the LaunchPad lab. They’re here, under “Workshop Material” (it’s called the labs installation file. There are instructions for installing this stuff a little ways up the page. I had to add a .exe to the file to get it to work. It would be nice if they could get this stuff figured out. The workbook also goes through setting up Code Composer to work with the projects.


Code Composer Setup

Follow this workbook to get Code Composer up and running. This includes setting up variables for there TivaWare is located on your system, and other things like that. The information you’re looking for starts around Lab 2.


By now you should be reasonably good to go. This installation process was pretty confusing for me since I hadn’t been through the wonderful world of Windows installers for a while, so the typical frustrations came about. That and the fact that there seems to be a whole bunch of cruft in the downloads from TI. By this I mean some old 32-bit software that didn’t seem to work on my 64-bit system. Maybe that’s 32 bits for the microcontroller, I’m not really sure.


Now that all of the development software has been installed, take a look at this video series from TI about the first steps programming the device.

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