Energia IDE for Visual Studio

by Visual Micro 2. August 2013 16:33

August 2016 - Energia 1.6 Release w/ Board Manager and Library Manager

Important Installation Bullets

  • This documention is in the process of being rewritten and updated. Energia is support in Visual Studio 2-12 to the latest v15. Gdb debug is currently only supported in Visual Studio 2015 although might work in the new version v15
  • note: Microsoft have shortened the Visual Studio version number and aligned with their internal version numbers. This is why the latest version is called 15, when the previous version was called 2015. It's going to be a bit confusing for a year or so.
  • Install Tip: Visual Studio 2015 and above, the C++ compiler is optional during installation. Energia and Arduino use C++ so you need to make sure C++ is installed. If you didn't install c+ when VS was installed then update via "control panel>add or remove programs>visual studio>change>custom". And while you doing that install the Android Tools for Visual Studio so you can try the GDB debugger.
  • Download the Energia IDE - Arduino Compatible. Texas Instruments Quality.

Review of Tiva C Series 123G

I don't sell hardware at visualmicro.com and don't benefit from recommending hardware. I just post about the things that we have personally found impressive which is rare :)

The Tiva C Series is certainly the best workhorse I have seen for years. Flexible, fast, accurate, well designed, well packaged and at a fraction of the cost of significantly inferior boards.

I paid $15 USD for my board from a retailer! I have never seen a program build and upload so quicky. Impressive. Never seen GDB debugging launch so quickly.

Code Sample - Change the LED color


analogWrite(PF_1, 700);


analogWrite(PF_2, 250);


analogWrite(PF_3, 50);


Example Features

The ARM Cortex-M4F Based MCU TM4C123G LaunchPad Evaluation Kit (EK-TM4C123GXL) offers these features:

  • High Performance TM4C123GH6PM MCU:
    • 80MHz 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4F CPU
    • 256KB Flash, 32KB SRAM, 2KB EEPROM
    • Two Controller Area Network (CAN) modules
    • USB 2.0 Host/Device/OTG + PHY
    • Dual 12-bit 2MSPS ADCs, motion control PWMs
    • 8 UART, 6 I2C, 4 SPI
    • Ultra Bright RGB LED (Analog Pins: PF_1, PF_2, PF_3)
    • 2 x User Buttons SW1/SW2
  • On-board In-Circuit Debug Interface (ICDI)
  • USB Micro-B plug to USB-A plug cable
  • Preloaded RGB quick-start application
  • ReadMe First quick-start guide

You can try the debug for the 123 and 129 boards in the cureent release of Visual Micro. In the next release the following settings are automatically applied based on selected board but here is how to manually configure.

If you are using the paid/pro version add one of these properties to the local project board.txt. Make sure the Andoid Tools for Visual Studio are installed which means you have a gdb debugger installed. then press "F5" or "Debug>Start Debugging".

#LaunchPad (Tiva C) w/ tm4c123 (80MHz)

OR (depending on your board model)

#LaunchPad (Tiva C) w/ tm4c129 (120MHz)

note to existing users. visual micro .vcxproj project files created prior to 22 of July 2016 will show an error when attempting to start gdb. A simple fix adding two lines into older vcxproj files is described in the draft GDB Debugging release notes (alternatively the project can be deleted and the sketch re-opened which recreates the project file backup the project before deleting).

  • Tiva™ C Series TM4C123G LaunchPad



msp430 (LaunchPad)

The Energia installation guide provides most of the information that you require. It can be found here

If upload fails after install we can view "windows device manager" to determine if you have unknown devices showing (after connecting your board). LaunchPad 430 usb drivers are available via the getting started link above but can also be found here

Stellaris (StellarPad)

When we plugged a StellarPad into a windows 7 64 machine we found that in device manager there were 3 "debug" drivers showing with yellow exclaimation marks.

Attempts to upload a program to the board failed with this error:-

Error claiming interface -12


The solution was to update the driver for each of the 3 entries using the TI drivers available here

Options: Visual Micro + USB or GDB Debugging