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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Kevin Jackson, Peter Silva, Greg Wind, Glenn Rossman

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Second generation of Freescale Kinetis ARM® Cortex®-M4-based MCUs take performance with power efficiency to new heights

(Freescale Technology Forum) – Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE: FSL) announced today it is launching the next generation of its flagship Kinetis K series microcontrollers (MCUs) with the expansion of its existing Kinetis K1x, K2x and K6x MCU families, and the introduction of the Kinetis K0x MCU family. In addition, Freescale has dramatically expanded its enablement software offerings for the entire Kinetis product line, providing customers an exceptionally broad array of MCU software and tools support, including a new Kinetis software development kit and Kinetis Design Studio IDE.

“With the addition of these second-generation Kinetis K series MCUs, Freescale is taking scalability, performance, power efficiency and enablement to new levels,” said Geoff Lees, senior vice president and general manager for Freescale’s MCU group. “The development support we are offering with these highly integrated microcontrollers will redefine customers’ expectations across the board.”

Next-generation Kinetis K series MCUs

Next-generation Kinetis K series MCUs expand on the outstanding scalability of the Kinetis MCU portfolio, allowing customers to preserve and maximize their engineering investments, and help speed time to market. These new series of cost-effective devices start at prices as low as $0.79 (USD) for 10ku/year-- the industry’s lowest priced Cortex-M4 based MCU with floating point unit reaching 100MHz with 64KB of Flash. The portfolio delivers up to 180MHz of performance, a floating point unit with 8KB I/D cache, 2MB Flash and 256KB SRAM, all while maintaining market-leading power/performance ratios.

Freescale leveraged the proven, low-power innovations from the widely adopted Kinetis L series MCUs to add best-in-class, low-power capabilities to the second generation Kinetis K series MCUs, resulting in significant performance/power efficiency ratio improvements over previous generation products. The result is outstanding Cortex-M3/-M4 class power efficiency, exceptionally low dynamic power usage while running from 100 to 180MHz, and 7x less static power consumption compared to the closest competitor.

Smart system-on-chip integration means customers have a wide range of choices for finding the right features at the right price. The Kinetis K series MCUs also include a wide range of memory sizes, and increased onboard SRAM addresses customer demand for more memory when adding features such as connectivity and richer human-machine-interfaces. In addition, the series’ exceptional integration enables lower overall BOM costs, with features such as USB with crystal-less functionality.

Kinetis K series MCUs target a wide range of low-power, processing-efficient embedded applications, including: wearables, gaming, IoT data concentrators and end nodes, point-of-sale systems, smart-grid infrastructure, home automation products, and factory automation systems.

Comprehensive enablement

Complementing the processing enhancements of the newest Kinetis K series is a dramatic expansion of development support for the Kinetis MCUs, designed and assembled to help customers create robust, highly functional prototypes in less than 24 hours.

Freescale supports Kinetis K series MCU customers from prototype to production by providing a full complement of development resources including:

  • The new Kinetis software development kit (SDK): a comprehensive software framework -- available initially for Kinetis K series MCUs, but planned for future availability across the entire portfolio -- for developing applications based on Kinetis MCUs. The SDK incorporates hardware abstraction layers, RTOS adapters, peripheral drivers, libraries, middleware, utilities, and usage examples.
  • The new mbed™-enabled, low-cost FRDM-K64F Freescale Freedom development platform. Compatible with the broad Arduino hardware ecosystem, this platform adds to a growing lineup of Freescale Freedom development platforms for Kinetis L series and K series MCUs.
  • Freescale Processor Expert Software, which helps to create, configure, and generate software and drivers for Freescale microcontrollers.
  • Bootloader software for Kinetis MCUs which enables in-system Flash programming over a serial connection and supports erase, program and verification capabilities.
  • The broad ARM ecosystem of support with featured IDEs from Atollic®, Green Hills Software®, IAR Systems® and ARM’s own Keil tools, along with a new Kinetis Design Studio from Freescale that is currently available in beta version for interested customers.

These expanded software offerings build on the strong, longstanding Kinetis MCU enablement foundation of the MQX™ RTOS, the Tower System platform, and application specific frameworks.

Scalability and availability

As the broadest and one of the fastest growing ARM-based MCU portfolios in the industry, the Kinetis MCU portfolio includes more than 900 devices (600 Kinetis K series MCUs), providing customers a vast selection of software and hardware compatible products from which to choose.

A number of the new Kinetis K series MCUs based on ARM Cortex-M4, including the Kinetis K63, K64, K24, K22, K21, K12 and K11 MCUs are already in production today, with new Kinetis K22 derivatives and K02 MCUs sampling now, and even more devices planned for later this year. Customers can start developing today with the variety of available Tower System modules and the newly launched Freescale Freedom development platform, the FRDM-K64F. For additional information, visit www.freescale.com/kinetis.

Tweet this: @Freescale launches second generation #Kinetis K series MCUs with industry’s lowest-priced #ARM Cortex-M4 core.

Tweet this: @Freescale simplifies and speeds time-to-market with software and tools, including #Kinetis SDK and IDE coming this summer.

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. Tower is a trademark of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. 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. mbed is a trademark of ARM Limited (or its subsidiaries) in the EU and/or elsewhere. All rights reserved. © 2014 Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.

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