MPLAB® Harmony v3 Drivers on SAM C21 Using FreeRTOS™: Step 1

Last modified by Microchip on 2023/11/09 09:08

Install MPLAB® Harmony Configurator (MHC) Plugin in MPLAB X IDE

Verify that MPLAB Harmony Configurator (MHC) is installed.

Launch MPLAB X IDE from the Windows® Start menu. Close any projects and files that are currently open. Go to Tools > Embedded. You will see MPLAB Harmony 3 Configurator in the menu.

Tools > Embedded menu

If you don't see it in the menu, install MHC.

Setup MHC Plugin Window Open in Standalone Mode

Go to Tools > Options. You will see the Options window open.

Tools > Options menu

Go to Plugins and select the Standalone option from the Window Manager menu.

Click Apply and then click OK.

Options window Plugins tab

  • When you launch MHC for the first time, it displays a prompt asking for the mode in which you would like to use MHC.
    • Standalone mode (as a separate window)
    • Native mode (as an embedded window in MPLAB X IDE)
  • Standalone mode is the default mode.
  • MHC will launch in the operating mode selected the first time, every time you launch MHC.
  • Step 1.2 above shows a way to change the MHC operating mode.

For this lab, MHC is configured to operate in Standalone mode.

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Create MPLAB Harmony v3 Project Using MPLAB X IDE

Select File > New Project from the main IDE menu.

Close all existing opened projects before you start creating a new project.


In the Categories pane of the New Project dialog, select Microchip Embedded.

In the Projects pane, select 32-bit MPLAB Harmony 3 Project, then click Next.

New Project window Choose Project pane

If 32-bit MPLAB Harmony 3 Project is not displayed, install MHC.

In the Framework Path edit box, browse to the folder you downloaded the framework to.

If you haven't done this, or want to download it to a different folder, click the Launch Content Manager button, then click Next.

For more information on the framework downloader, see the "MPLAB® Harmony v3 Configurator (MHC) Overview" page.

New Project window Manage Framework pane

In the Project Settings window, apply the following settings:


Location indicates the path to the root folder of the new project. All project files will be placed inside this folder. The project location can be any valid path, for example: C:\microchip\harmony\v3\harmony_projects.


Folder indicates the name of the MPLABX.X folder. Enter "drivers_freertos_sam_c21_xpro" to create a drivers_freertos_sam_c21_xpro.X folder.

This must be a valid directory name for your operating system.


Enter the project’s logical name as "getting_started_drivers_freertos_sam_c21_xpro". This is the name that will be shown from within the MPLAB X IDE.

The Path box is read-only. It will update as you make changes to other entries.

Click Next to proceed to Configuration Settings.

New Project window Name and Location pane

Clicking on the Show Visual Help button will open a help window providing a detailed description of the various fields in the Project Settings window.

MPLAB Harmony New Project Wizard Help window is displayed

Set the project’s Configuration Settings as follows:

  • Name: Enter the configuration name as "sam_c21_xpro".

  • Target Device: Select ATSAMC21J18A as the target device.

You can select the Device Family or enter a partial device name to filter the Target Device list in order to make it easier to locate the desired device.

After selecting the target device, click Finish to launch the MHC.

New Project window Configuration Settings pane

The New Project Wizard opens a Configuration Database Setup window to allow you to review the packages that will be used by the current project.

Click Launch to launch the MHC tool with the selected packages.

The Configuration Database Setup window is displayed

The MHC plugin’s main window for the project will be displayed.

The MHC plugin’s main window is displayed

Before proceeding, set up the compiler toolchain.

Click on the Projects tab on the top left pane. Right click on the project name getting_started_drivers_freertos_sam_c21_xpro and go to Properties.

Project Properties window right click menu on project

Select Connected Hardware Tool as SAM C21 Xplained Pro. Make sure that XC32 (v2.50) is selected as the Compiler Toolchain for XC32. Click on Apply and then click on OK.

Alternative way to access the same properties tab: File > Project Properties (project name)

Project Properties window

If you closed MHC accidently and would like to open it again, go to Tools > Embedded > MPLAB Harmony 3 Configurator.

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Verify Clock Settings

Launch Clock Easy View by going to Tools menu of Standalone Harmony window and then select Clock Configuration.

Launch Clock Easy View from the tools drop down

A new window, Clock Easy View is opened.

In the Clock Easy View, verify that the Main Clock is set to 48 MHz.

The Clock Easy View is displayed

Double click on Clock Easy View tab to maximize/minimize the window.

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