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Date: 31-07-13

Freescale expands its Cortex M0+ MCUs with application specific enhancements

Freescale semiconductor has launched new MCUs based on ARM Cortex M0+, which include KL46 with segment LCD, USB and I2S , KL36 with segment LCD and I2S and KL34 with segment LCD only MCUs. They feature up to 256KB of flash memory, 32KB of SRAM extended memory, and are compatible with Freescale’s Kinetis K series devices, providing a migration path to DSP-level performance and advanced feature integration.

Freescale suggests developers to move from their 8-bit 16-bit designs into this 32-bit platform for the performance and cost benefits.

Applications suggested for this new MCU include products such as small appliances, gaming accessories and portable medical systems. The specific products include remote controls, thermostats, digital timers and handheld meters.

The other general features include 48 MHz ARM Cortex-M0+ core, 292uA @ 4MHz typical power in very-low-power run (VLPR), Integrated analog peripherals such as A/D converters and comparators, and range of serial communications options including I2C, SPI and UART.

Package options include:121MAPBGA, 64MAPBGA, 100LQFP and 64LQFP

All these MCU are sampling now. They are priced in the range of $1.71 to dollar $2.73 in 10k quantities. There is a development kit available at a price of US$ 15.

Freescale semiconductor as also added new ARM Cortex M0+ based microcontrollers for industry electronics applications. These are targeted at replacing 8 and 16-bit MCU's for use in household appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators, home automation systems, and motor control, and other such industrial applications. Kinetis E series offer a large pitch packaging options and electrostatic discharge protection so that they can be designed using single layer board without any additional components for circuit protection.

“Historically, 32-bit MCUs have been associated with lower voltage operation and considered unreliable in electromagnetically harsh environments such as factories or even many households,” said Brandon Tolany, vice president of marketing and business development for Freescale’s MCU business. “Kinetis E series MCUs break new ground by combining low cost and high performance with advanced electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection features designed to support compliance with industrial-grade reliability and temperature requirements.”

Kinetis E series microcontrollers are pre-certified and feature fault-tolerant software routines engineered to help customers meet the IEC 60730 class B safety standards for household appliances which is mandatory in European markets.

The other features of Kinetis KE02 MCU as per freescale includes:

EMC and ESD protection features for robust noise immunity and compliance with industrial-grade reliability and temperature requirements
Exceptional electrical fast transient/electrostatic discharge (EFT/ESD) performance
Flash, RAM, register, watchdog and clock tests
2.7V to 5.5V and across -40 degrees C to +105 degrees C ambient temperature range
ARM Cortex-M0+ core running up to 20 MHz
Single-cycle 32-bit x 32-bit multiplier
Single-cycle I/O access port
Up to 64 KB flash memory
256 B EEPROM
Up to 4 KB RAM

“It’s impressive to see a 32-bit MCU family at these price points for this type of environment,” said Tony Massimini, chief of technology at Semico Research. “The Kinetis E series MCUs allow customers to step up performance and leverage more advanced development tools and the extensive ecosystem surrounding the ARM Cortex M0+ core. As we see the market shifting to 32-bit solutions, the robustness of these 5V MCUs should even make it possible for systems challenged by signal-to-noise concerns to make the switch.”

Availability and pricing : The first Kinetis E series device, the 64-pin QFP version of the KE02, is available now. Suggested resale pricing for the KE02 MCU family in 10K unit quantities ranges from 78 cents to $1.13 (USD). The FRDM-KE02Z Freescale Freedom development platform is available now for $12.95 (USD).

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