SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

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Freescale Shrinks World’s Smallest ARM-Based MCU by an Additional 15 Percent

Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE: FSL) announces a breakthrough addition to its Kinetis mini portfolio with the introduction of the Kinetis KL03 MCU, the world’s smallest and most energy efficient 32-bit MCU based on ARM® technology. The Kinetis KL03 MCU builds on the previous generation Kinetis KL02 device with new features, advanced integration, and greater ease-of-use – all in an even smaller 1.6 x 2.0mm2 package. The new capabilities of the Kinetis KL03 device help customers to achieve lower power in a smaller form factor, saving on product design time and cost.

Freescale's new Kinetis KL03 is the world's smallest ARM-based microcontroller (Photo: Business Wire ...

Freescale's new Kinetis KL03 is the world's smallest ARM-based microcontroller (Photo: Business Wire)

Leveraging advanced wafer-level chip scale packaging, the Kinetis KL03 MCU is more than 15 percent smaller than the previous generation Freescale KL02 device, and 35 percent smaller than competing 32-bit ARM MCUs. The new SoC is ideally suited for space-constrained designs, including a wide range of applications in the consumer, healthcare, and industrial markets. It is ideal for the fast-growing Internet of Things (IoT) market, where edge nodes increasingly require more intelligence in ever-smaller form factors.

“When size is no longer a barrier to incorporating microcontrollers into edge node devices, we can start to redefine what’s possible for the Internet of Things,” said Rajeev Kumar, director of worldwide marketing and business development for Freescale’s Microcontrollers business. “We see the miniaturization of MCUs as a key driver of IoT evolution. With the groundbreaking form factors of the new Kinetis KL03, systems designers for edge node products now have the technology they need to develop entirely new product categories capable, quite literally, of changing the world.”

Advanced functionality, power efficiency and integration

The Kinetis KL03 MCU combines the power efficiency of the Kinetis L series based on ARM® Cortex®-M0+ cores with enhanced low-power functionalities including register files, SRTC, low power UART, and additional low power wake up pins.

Additionally, the new product offers greater ease of use over the previous generation. An added ROM-based boot loader allows factory programming and on-line system firmware upgrades without adding circuitry to the board, reducing programming-related costs for customers. An internal, highly accurate voltage reference (Vref) delivers improved analog performance by supplying an embedded 1.2 volt reference for the ADC, enabling several use cases for applications requiring high ADC accuracy.

The Kinetis KL03 MCU integrates:

  • 48 MHz ARM Cortex-M0+ core, 1.71-3.6V operation
  • Bit manipulation engine for faster, more code-efficient handling of peripheral registers
  • 32 KB flash memory, 2 KB RAM
  • 8K ROM with on-chip boot loader
  • High-speed 12-bit ADC
  • Internal voltage reference for high ADC accuracy
  • High-speed analog comparator
  • Low power wake up
  • Low-power UART, SPI, I2C (high speed)
  • Secure real time clock
  • Powerful timers for a broad range of applications including motor control
  • -40 °C to +85 °C operation

The Kinetis KL03 MCU is code compatible across 900+ Cortex-M products. In addition, a FRDM-KL03Z Freescale Freedom development platform, as well as Processor Expert development system, Solution Advisor guide, and comprehensive Freescale and third-party enablement support in the ARM-ecosystem will be available to support development targeting the new MCU. Customers can begin evaluation immediately with the FRDM-KL03Z board.

Tweet this: @Freescale shrinks world’s smallest #ARMPowered #MCU. Next gen #KinetisKL03 for #IoTinnovation

Availability

Initial sampling of the Kinetis KL03 MCU will begin next month, with full production planned for June 2014. Suggested resale pricing is $0.75 (USD) in 100K-unit quantities.

About Freescale Semiconductor

Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE:FSL) is a global leader in embedded processing solutions, providing industry leading products that are advancing the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets. From microprocessors and microcontrollers to sensors, analog integrated circuits and connectivity – our technologies are the foundation for the innovations that make our world greener, safer, healthier and more connected. Some of our key applications and end-markets include automotive safety, hybrid and all-electric vehicles, next generation wireless infrastructure, smart energy management, portable medical devices, consumer appliances and smart mobile devices. The company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing and sales operations around the world. www.freescale.com.

Freescale, the Freescale logo, Kinetis and Processor Expert are trademarks of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off. All other product or service names are the property of their respective owners. ARM and Cortex are trademarks or registered trademarks of ARM Ltd or its subsidiaries in the EU and/or elsewhere. All rights reserved. © 2014 Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.

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