We hear the term Internet of Things (IoT) a lot these days. Some people think this is all pie in the sky and will never come to fruition. I am not one of their number. I think that we are poised on the brink of a technology revolution in which just about everything is accessible and controllable via the Internet. I also think that we don't really have a clue what the world will look like technology wise in the next few decades.
Though there is so much talk about the IoT, and a lot is happening already, we are still waiting for some key elements to fall into place, including easy design creation and deployment. Also, if we wish to include microcontrollers in just about everything, those microcontrollers need to address some key issues.
First of all, they need to be small. We're talking about ultra-small package footprints for space-constrained applications, including battery-powered consumer devices, medical monitors, and remote sensor nodes. Of course, the microcontrollers also need to offer extreme energy efficiency coupled with high performance.
To address these considerations, Freescale has unveiled the Kinetis KL03 MCU, which it calls the "world's smallest" 32-bit MCU based on ARM technology. The Kinetis KL03 offers advanced integration and ease of use in a chip-scale package that measures 1.6 x 2.0 mm -- smaller than a dimple on a golf ball.
The microcontroller offers increased energy efficiency in the form of rapid MCU wakeup, process, and return to sleep profiles. Additional flexible low-power modes and intelligent peripherals allow designers to extract the maximum system life from the most miniscule of power budgets.
Based on the ARM Cortex-M0+ architecture -- the smallest, lowest power ARM core -- the Kinetis KL03 provides the 32-bit processing power required to support complex algorithms, connectivity stacks, and sophisticated human-machine interfaces. With code compatibility across a suite of more than 900 MCUs based on ARM Cortex-M processors, and with pricing of $0.75 (USD) in 100,000 unit quantities, processors like Freescale's Kinetis KL03 will be a driving factor in bringing the IoT to fruition.
— Max Maxfield, Editor of All Things Fun & Interesting