Freescale Semiconductor has expanded its portfolio of 32-bit Kinetis microcontrollers (MCUs), based on the ARM Cortex-M4 processor, with 60 new entry-level devices that are expected to begin sampling in early 2012.
These newest ARM Cortex-M4 core K10 and K20 family members will carry price tags of less than $1 each, making them well-suited for cost-sensitive industrial and consumer appliances, including I/O modules for factory automation, portable healthcare instruments, USB microphones and gaming headsets, as well as smart grid applications.
According to Freescale, the new devices are the lowest power Kinetis MCUs to date, consuming only 630uA at a CPU speed of 4MHz in low power run mode, which is equivalent to 160uA/MHz. The lowest power mode consumes only 40 nA, helping to extend battery life.
The devices offer from 32 KB to 128 KB of flash memory in 32-pin QFN (5mm x 5mm) to 64-pin LQFP packages. They are built using Freescale's 90nm thin film storage (TFS) low-leakage flash technology with up to 32 KB of optional FlexMemory (2 KB EEPROM), very low power run and stop mode currents and fast wake-up times. Peripheral options include a 16-bit ADC, full-speed USB On-The-Go controller with complimentary software stack, low-power touch sensing interface and several general timing, communication and control peripherals.
The K10 and K20 families will be fully supported by a wide selection of easy-to-use 32-bit tools, including a package of Freescale's MQX RTOS and software solutions, CodeWarrior for MCUs featuring Processor Expert Software, and a complimentary USB stack. Kinetis support from the ARM ecosystem will continue to thrive with support for the K10 and K20 families coming from IAR Systems, Keil, Green Hills Software, Atollic, open source GNU tools and several more. An evaluation and demonstration kit based on the Freescale Tower System -- a modular development platform designed to reduce development costs and time-to-market -- is planned for the first quarter of 2012.
Pricing and availability
Freescale expects to begin providing alpha samples of the 50 MHz devices to select customers in Q4 2011 and devices are expected to be broadly available in early Q1 of 2012. Pricing starts from 99 cents (USD MSRP) for 10,000-unit quantities.