“New heights” of power efficiency claimed for Freescale’s Kinetis/ARM MCUs

April 09, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Freescale’s expanded Kinetis K series microcontrollers (MCUs) add to the Kinetis K1x, K2x and K6x MCU families, and introduces the K0x MCU family. Freescale has expanded its software offerings for the entire Kinetis product line, in terms of MCU software and tools support, including a new Kinetis software development kit and Kinetis Design Studio IDE.

Based on the ARM Cortex-M4 core, these Kinetis K series MCUs are positionsed as cost-effective devices startin at $0.79 (1,000/yr) for an MCU with floating point unit reaching 100 MHz with 64 kB of Flash. The portfolio delivers up to 180 MHz of performance, a floating point unit with 8 kB I/D cache, 2 MB Flash and 256 kB SRAM, all while maintaining power/performance ratios.

Building on the Kinetis L series, K series MCUs have performance/power efficiency ratio improvements over previous generation products; Cortex-M3/-M4 class power efficiency, exceptionally low dynamic power usage while running from 100 to 180 MHz, and seven-times less static power consumption compared to the closest competitor.

Smart system-on-chip integration 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. The series’ integration enables lower overall BOM costs, with features such as USB with crystal-less functionality.

Use them in 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.

Freescale support includes;

· 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 [ARM] mbed-enabled, low-cost FRDM-K64F Freescale Freedom development platform, compatible with the broad Arduino hardware ecosystem.

· 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 IDEs from Atollic, Green Hills Software, IAR Systems and ARM’s own Keil tools, along with a