License and future support

22 Sep 2009 . Edited: 05 Nov 2010

> I was poking around on your web site, and it looks

> interesting, but one thing I saw no mention of was what type
> of licensing/IP rights are involved with any of this stuff. 
> I looked at a few bits of the sample code and there were no
> copyright (or copyleft) notices.

We recommend code is published under the MIT licence, information on which can be found at:

However, you can publish under any license you wish; it is the responsibility of the publisher to make it clear how things are released.

> Another concern is over the long term, what if you guys

> decide to switch versions of compiler or go out of business,
> how would I build projects I've saved "just like before",
> where would I get a local version of compiler?  (I was
> thinking maybe a packaged up virtual machine snapshot might
> be a great way to encapsulate everything)

Switching compilers might actually happen, so as to keep mbed in line with the latest compiler technology. In that case, we'd take what steps we can to ensure compatibility, and would hope that any effort in upgrading a project to use the new compiler would be outweighed by the benefits.

You can export projects from the online compiler and store them locally if you wish. The mbed microcontroller is just an LPC1768/2368, so it would still be possible to build binaries for in the event that the online compiler was unavailable. Having said this, we've no plans on going out of business!

[sford: edited to clarify a few things]

22 Sep 2009 . Edited: 22 Sep 2009

It's worth noting that the compiler we use is the industry-standard ARM RVDS 4 compiler. Effectively you get access to a commercial compiler for free with your mbed account.

So really what we've done is package up standard tools and techiques into a very easy to use system, and there's nothing stopping you getting your own toolchain setup to build binaries for your mbed board, if you were so inclined!


22 Oct 2009

So, what is the chip on the bottom of the PCB marked MBED interface?



22 Oct 2009
John Day wrote:

So, what is the chip on the bottom of the PCB marked MBED interface?

Magic :-)

The mbed interface chip runs the USB flash disk that you drop the .bin file onto, and programs the flash of the LPC1768. It also takes care of the USB serial port to the PC.

We made the device simply say "mbed interface" so that it wouldnt draw any attention :-)





22 Oct 2009

Fair enough! So as long as we don't use those functions, the code we generate could be used on other LPC1768 based boards?

Is the mbed interface chip proprietary? Can it be licensed/purchased?



22 Oct 2009


> Fair enough! So as long as we don't use those functions, the code we generate could be used on
> other LPC1768 based boards?

The reason we have a two chip solution is exactly for this reason. The binary file the compiler generates has no special magic in it, so it will work just as well on a $5 bare metal LPC1768 on your own PCB as it will on the mbed board. All the magic happens in the interface chip.

The mbed interface chip is proprietary. At the moment it is not available to license or purchase as we dont want to fragment the mbed hardware market, but it might well be available in the future.




20 Mar 2010

What does it do and what should I take into account for when I decide to design a commercial design around the LPC1768? Which components should I omit from the schemtatics or which ones should I insert? Questions, questions...

After building a board how would I need to program it? I did not need to design in a big black blob called "mbed interface", where do I drag and drop my world shattering firmware?

Questions, questions....

For sure it is somewhere on your website, bute I did not find it yet..



20 Mar 2010

Take a look at this Prototype to Hardware page that chris wrote. It has a good walkthrough with some references etc which might answer some of those questions, questions...

20 Mar 2010

Cool thanks! Maybe you could make a link less hidden on your homepage that brings you to this page for the proprietary software agnostics like me :-).

I am used to the LPC2292 and know how to program it with lpc21isp. The LPC7xx seems to be no different.



26 Jan 2012

I just looked at the Prototype to Hardware link above. Very interesting!

Just to be sure: Do I understand it correctly that there aren't any copyright or license limitations when I would use the Mbed compiler and library (mbed.h) in our commercial products (probably we want it to be closed source) on (A) a standard Mbed module or (B) a customized LPC1768 print (like described above) ?

Regards, Eduard

26 Jan 2012

Hi Eduard,

Yes, you are free to use the output of the compiler for commercial or non-commercial use on the mbed modules or your own custom pcbs. It is fine to include the mbed libraries, even if your application is closed source.

Hope that helps!


22 Feb 2013