Freescale Semiconductor is expanding its Kinetis microcontroller (MCU) portfolio with the industry's first wireless solution built on the ARM Cortex-M4 processor for smart energy, smart metering and building control applications.
The KW20 chipsets bring together performance and security in a scalable ZigBee platform, allowing designers to optimize solutions to fit their specific applications.
As the Internet of Things becomes a reality and more devices require wireless connectivity, processing and memory requirements continue to climb, and scalability becomes more important. With the Kinetis KW20 wireless MCU solution, designers can quickly make feature changes without going back to the drawing board. The KW20 wireless MCU provides greater processing power and larger flash and RAM options compared to other devices on the market, helping end applications avoid obsolescence as specifications evolve.
The Kinetis KW20 wireless MCU family is designed to address the increased processing and memory requirements associated with future ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0 and Internet Protocol specifications. The MCU integrates an ARM Cortex-M4 processor, MC13242 RF transceiver and a robust feature set to provide a reliable, secure, low-power ZigBee platform. Designers can select the KW20 MCU single-chip solution or choose to combine the RF transceiver with a corresponding Kinetis MCU, giving them more flexibility to tailor the device to their specific application needs.
"The Kinetis KW20 wireless MCU provides the performance to handle smart energy applications' memory and security needs, while giving designers the ultimate in flexibility," said Bruno Baylac, director of Freescale's Metering, Medical & Connectivity Solutions business. "By integrating ZigBee connectivity with our award-winning Kinetis MCU family, we are helping customers future-proof their systems while gaining a higher-performance radio and extra security."
Freescale's KW20 wireless MCU and MC13242 RF transceiver provide leading RF performance by reducing power consumption and increasing link budget. The transceiver features antenna diversity, which improves RF reliability, especially for conditions where multipath interference occurs. The KW20 wireless MCU and MC13242 transceiver are designed to reduce transmit and receive power, and a low-power run mode optimizes energy use.
The KW20 wireless MCU and MC13242 also offer 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 also integrated advanced security features usually found in higher-end processors to address the need for more advanced encryption methods, key generation, secure memory and tamper detect. Secure flash protects the code and data from unauthorized access or modification, while tamper detect can detect events and asynchronously erase Secure RAM and generate an interrupt so the application firmware can take additional actions, including a system reset. A memory-mapped cryptographic acceleration unit (MMCAU) supports a set of specialized operations to improve the throughput of encryption/decryption operations as well as message digest functions.
Whether developers choose the single-chip Kinetis KW20 wireless MCU solution or the multi-chip solution with the MC13242 RF transceiver, they can leverage the tools and software common to the Kinetis MCU portfolio. ZigBee protocol software is seamlessly integrated into Kinetis development tools, further speeding development time. A comprehensive enablement package includes the BeeKit wireless connectivity toolkit, Eclipse-based CodeWarrior integrated development environment (IDE), Freescale MQX software solutions and associated middleware, and the Tower System modular development platform for rapid prototyping. Third-party development support, including the IAR IDE, is also available from the extensive ARM ecosystem.
Freescale plans to offer alpha samples of the Kinetis KW20 wireless MCUs (KW21D256V, KW21D512V and KW22D512V) and the MC13242 RF transceiver, as well as software and ZigBee protocol stacks, in Q3 2012.
This article originally appeared on EE Times Europe.