I think this move is clever. M3 range is covered with many vendors, M0 range is not suitable for a big market movement (it has limited capabilities). For the ARM uC market, M4 range is fresh and virgin. NXP announced it's M4 core but it's not even on sampling. So, with the advanced process capabilities, freescale can gain an aggressive momentum on the uC market, if they can keep the prices competitive.
Their family specs has been carefully designed for further development choices, like STM32 family.
I'm very excited about the announcement, and will follow the Kinetis news. At least, my 1 USD will have DSP capabilities (even if just a bit) in the near future.
Codefire has good reputation in industry field thanks to it's stability and reliability, With more than 30 years experience if counting it's predecessor, M68K. It is understood that the burgeoning of ARM attracts more and more customers and it also effects the market of codefire with migration to ARM. Freescale should be very carefully on his strategy.
It's a yes and no question.
Many other vendors also have large overlaps of non-binary-compatible offerings, and pitch the 'similar peripherals' angle.
Some pitch the same tool-flows angle, as Freescale is doing via IAR & their in-house tools.
Certainly the core itself matters less and less as time advances, and more and more selection choices are made on Peripherals.
Flash Memory speeds tend to dominate the final MHz ratings, also diluting the core differences.
Freescale claims that its new Kinetis family of ARM-based microcontrollers will not canabalize its existing ColdFire line of microcontrollers, even though they cover the same performance and power consumption ranges. What do you think?