Freescale adds ZigBee wireless MCUs in Kinetis series

December 06, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Kinetis KW2x is a series of 802.15.4/ZigBee wireless devices intended to meet the increased processing and memory requirements associated with future ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0 and Internet Protocol specifications.

The Kinetis KW2x wireless platform integrates an ARM Cortex-M4 processor, and a 802.15.4 Standard-compliant RF transceiver, to form a low-power 2.4 GHz platform. Freescale says it provides greater processing performance and larger flash and RAM options compared to other devices on the market, helping end-applications avoid obsolescence as specifications evolve. With the Kinetis KW2x wireless platform’s 512KB Flash and 64KB RAM, designers can quickly upgrade features without going back to the drawing board. For customers requiring more flexibility, the KW2x platform optionally provides 64K of FlexMemory that can be used for additional configurations.

Freescale’s KW2x wireless platform claims reduced power consumption and increased link budget. The transceiver features antenna diversity, which improves RF reliability, especially for conditions where multipath interference occurs. The 802.15.4 transceiver is designed to reduce transmit and receive power, and a low-power run mode optimises energy use.

The MCU has hardware assisted, dual personal area network (PAN) support, enabling a single device to communicate wirelessly on two ZigBee networks. This helps eliminate the need for multiple radios that in the past were necessary to connect different home automation and smart energy networks.

Freescale has integrated advanced security features usually found in higher-end processors to address the need for more advanced encryption methods including key generation, secure memory and tamper detect functionality. Secure flash protects the code and data from unauthorised access or modification, while tamper detect can identify events and asynchronously erase secure RAM, generating an interrupt so the application firmware can take additional actions, including a system reset. A cryptographic acceleration unit supports a set of specialised operations to improve the throughput of encryption/decryption operations as well as message digest functions.

Features include:

· 50 MHz ARM Cortex-M4 processor core

· Up to 512 KB of flash memory and 64 KB of SRAM

· FlexMemory option with up to 64 KB FlexNVM and up to 4 KB FlexRAM

· Cryptology accelerator and sophisticated tamper detect