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FNET network stack port to LPC176x - with IPv6!

embeddedipv6lpc176xfnetFri 04 Jan 2013 14:57:15No comments
Screenshot of FNET

I am pleased to annouce a port of the FNET network stack to the NXP LPC176x (ARM Cortex-M3) microcontrollers (mbed and LPCXpresso boards). This brings an excellent networking stack with not only IPv4 and IPv6 capabilities, but also fully open source under the GPL and LGPLv3 with a linking exemption allowing use in closed-source projects

Why FNET? There are several TCP/IP stacks already available for the LPC series microcontrollers:

  • uIP
  • lwIP
  • InterNiche under various derivative products from NXP (NicheLite for LPC), FreeRTOS
  • Both uIP and lwIP have been ported to the LPC - uIP examples come with the LPCXpresso and the lwIP stack is used as a base for the mbed network API - which has recently been moved from a community concern to an official stack with enhancements with the mbed RTOS.

    Both uIP and lwIP originated from Adam Dunkels who now maintains the Contiki operating system. lwIP is now maintained as a open source project.

    The InterNiche stack can be downloaded from NXP, but the fully featured version requires an upgrade. The FreeRTOS version is a whopping $2500, which I don't have just lying around.

    mbed and LPCXpresso
    Two small IPv6 devices!

    The key driver for me is the IPv6 capability, which will be key for the future of connected devices. A key example is the "Smart Grid" - the "Smart meters" being installed where I live use IPv6. Soon every networked device will have an IPv6 address - we just need to move things along!

    FNET is a stack written by Andrey Butok at Freescale semiconductor; from the initial ColdFire/68K port it now runs on Freescale's ARM Cortex-M4 (Kinetis) and Power architecture (Qorivva) lines. The stack has been built from the ground up for portability - it is a credit to Andrey's excellent work that the only modification to run on the LPC was the addition of the drivers for the LPC - none of the base stack has had to be modified at all to compile and run on the LPC!

    More information about the FNET port to the LPC176x can be found at

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    Mathew McBride, telecoms hardware access engineer, programmer, gamer and all round nerd

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