ST Americas mbed Team

Information on how to use the STM32 Nucleo board with mbed

Preparing the STM32F401 Nucleo Board for

Preparing the STM32F401 Nucleo Board for Development with ARM mbed

Welcome to the Era of Connected Devices!

We have teamed up with ARM mbed to give you an easy to use experience to begin building your connected device.

The STM32F401 Nucleo board allows developers to try out new ideas and quickly create prototypes with the STM32F401 MCU. Sharing Arduino connectors and ST Morpho headers, STM32 Nucleo boards can easily be extended with a large number of application related hardware add-ons. The STM32 Nucleo boards come with an integrated ST-Link debugger/programmer; no need for an external probe.

  • The first step to building your connected device is to obtain an STM32F401 Nucleo board and a USB cable.

With the Nucleo board in hand, become familiar with the capabilities of the STM32F401 MCU and the pin-out of the Nucleo board. An overview of this board is found here: ST Nucleo F401RE

Here is a brief summary of the highlights of this platform:

  • One high-performance STM32F401RET6 microcontroller with LQFP64 package and ARM Cortex-M4 CPU with FPU at 84MHz, 512 Kbytes of Flash and 96 Kbytes of RAM with a variety of peripherals
  • Two types of extension resources, each with accessible debug pins:
    • Arduino Uno Revision 3 connectivity
    • STMicroelectronics Morpho extension pin headers for full access to all STM32F401RET6 I/Os
  • Flexible board power supply: USB VBUS or external source (3.5 V, 5 V, 7 V - 12 V)
  • On-board ST-LINK/V2.1 interfacing with the PC, with three different communication channels via USB
    • Debug and programming port, to use STM32 Nucleo with standard toolchains/debuggers/programmers
    • Virtual Com port to send back traces to the PC
    • Mass storage (USB Disk drive) for drag'n'drop programming

Before plugging your Nucleo board into your PC, first complete the following steps:

  • Go to
  • Click the "Login" or "Signup" button on the home page
  • If you have a login and password, login to your mbed account; or click the "Signup" button to create an account.
  • At the top of the mbed webpage, select the "Platforms" button and then select ST Nucleo F401RE platform

This will take you to the platform page with all information on how to get started with mbed.

In order for the STM32F401RE Nucleo board to be ready for programming with the mbed development environment, it is required to run the STLinkV2-1 firmware version V2.J22.M5 or later. To check and upgrade the firmware version, you can follow the instructions below.

  • Save and unzip the file to a local directory
  • Open the STM32 Nucleo driver and install it
  • Connect your Nucleo board to your PC. Note: It may take some time for all the USB drivers to load, so please be patient
  • Return to the Nucleo-Firmware page and click "Download firmware version…"

  • Save and unzip the file to a local directory
  • Launch "ST-LinkUpgrade.exe" to upgrade the ST-Link/V2-1 device with the latest firmware

Upgrading to STSW-LINK007 - V2.J25.M13

After the upgrade has completed and with a new USB enumeration, you should see your STM32F401 Nucleo as a USB storage device:

Your STM32F401RE Nucleo board is ready for programming with the mbed development environment!

A video of the entire process can be found here:

Getting started with ARM mbed Integrated Development Environment

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