Boards and devices overview - nRF Connect for VS Code
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Boards and devices overview

The nRF Connect for VS Code extension allows you to work with boards that are supported by the nRF Connect SDK and to add your own boards. It can also detect physical devices and connect to them for testing and debugging purposes.

What are boards

In the context of the extension and the nRF Connect SDK, boards are descriptions of a hardware design. One example of a board is nrf52840dk_nrf52840, which describes Nordic Semiconductor's nRF52840 development kit.

You can choose a board for your application when you are adding or editing a build configuration.

For the list of boards supported by the nRF Connect SDK, see the Board support page in the nRF Connect SDK documentation.

Finding new boards

By default, the extension scans for board definitions in all west projects. It also checks the boards directory of the application or sample you are building for .conf or .overlay files of compatible boards.

Additionally, the extension provides the BOARD_ROOT flag to CMake to indicate where to find custom boards. By default, the extension considers all current workspace folders as board roots along with any entries in the nrf-connect.boardRoots setting. When you create a custom board with the Create a new board wizard, the appropriate folder is also added to your nrf-connect.boardRoots setting.

The same workspace folders and nrf-connect.boardRoots entries are used to find custom boards in the Custom boards list in the Add Build Configuration screen.

What are devices

In the context of the extension, devices are physical pieces of hardware.

Device configuration

If you want to configure a device, such as by adding a node or adding a dimmable LED to your device, you can do this by creating an overlay file that uses the devicetree language. See Working with devicetree files for more details on how to create overlay files for device configuration and what features the extension provides to simplify editing these files.