MCU takes Kinetis device form factors to another dimension

4th December 2015
Posted By : Jordan Mulcare

Freescale Semiconductor has introduced an ultra-thin version of the Kinetis K22 MCU, integrating 120MHz of performance and a vast array of memories and interfaces into a package measuring only 0.34 millimeters in height. The device is suitable for applications such as chip-and-PIN credit cards, wearables and consumer electronics, where security and small form factors are essential.

Freescale plans to deploy this ultra-thin packaging technology across a broad spectrum of its Kinetis MCU portfolio, with multiple products planned for release in the months ahead.

As the secure point-of-sale, IoT and consumer electronics markets continue to push the limits of size, performance, security and battery life, minimising MCU height is becoming one of the industry’s tallest hurdles.By dramatically reducing the device’s Z-axis, Freescale’s ultra-thin package satisfies the insatiable demand for smaller form factors, more innovative design options and smarter integration.

“In the IoT era, an incessant demand for ’what’s next’ is challenging systems designers to consistently deliver breakthrough solutions,” said Steve Tateosian, Manager of MCU platforms, Freescale. “Freescale’s new Kinetis package – measuring as thin as a blade of grass – demonstrates our commitment to advancing the consumer electronics, IoT and secure payments markets by enabling manufacturers to focus on their most taxing design challenges, while pushing the boundaries of functionality and integration.”

Decreasing the size – and now height – of a MCU presents systems designers with exciting possibilities, including new use cases for innovative applications. For example, Freescale’s new MCU could enable new products that monitor a diabetic’s glucose levels when adhered to the skin in the form of a stretchable electronic patch, or even under the skin as an implant.

Freescale has a history of leadership in the IoT and smart device markets, with the ultra-thin Kinetis MCU package representing the latest milestone in its drive to innovate and push advancements in smaller and smarter design. Earlier this year, Freescale unveiled the world’s smallest single chip module (SCM) for the IoT, replacing a six-inch board with a device the size of the U.S. dime and reducing the need for 100-plus components down to just one. Prior to this, the company released the Kinetis KL03 MCU – the world’s smallest and most energy efficient ARM-based 32-bit MCU – which fits comfortably into the dimple of a golf ball.

Kinetis K series MCUs target a wide range of 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.


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