Freescale launch industrial-grade 32-bit MCUs

5th August 2013
Nat Bowers

Freescale Semiconductor has today introduced the industry’s first 5V 32-bit microcontrollers built on the ARM Cortex-M0+ processor. Providing high efficiency and optimal code density, the new Kinetis E series MCUs feature electromagnetic noise immunity for systems that traditionally use 8- and 16-bit MCUs (white goods and industrial applications).

Intended applications for the new Kinetis E Series MCUs include dishwashers, refrigerators, home and building control systems, motor control fans, industrial converters and other equipment commonly operating in high-noise environments. Incorporating 32-bit processing capabilities and a highly robust design, the Kinetis E series MCUs can be used in place of the multiple MCUs previously required by system designers. Reducing the need for additional circuit protection, the new devices feature large-pitch packaging options and high electrostatic discharge protection performance. This enables single-layer board designs, reducing total system cost.

Freescale offers both hardware features (built into Kinetis E series MCUs) and pre-certified, fault-tolerant software routines engineered to help customers meet the IEC 60730 Class B safety standard for household appliances, which is mandatory in European markets.

“Historically, 32-bit MCUs have been associated with lower voltage operation and considered unreliable in electromagnetically harsh environments such as factories or even many households. Kinetis E series MCUs break new ground by combining low cost and high performance with advanced electromagnetic compatibility and electrostatic discharge protection features designed to support compliance with industrial-grade reliability and temperature requirements,” comments Brandon Tolany, vice president of marketing and business development for Freescale’s MCU business.

Kinetis KE02 MCU features

  • EMC and ESD protection features for robust noise immunity and compliance with industrial-grade reliability and temperature requirements,
  • Exceptional electrical fast transient/electrostatic discharge performance,
  • Flash, RAM, register, watchdog and clock tests,
  • 2.7V to 5.5V and across -40 degrees C to +105 degrees C ambient temperature range,
  • ARM Cortex-M0+ core running up to 20 MHz,
  • Single-cycle 32-bit x 32-bit multiplier,
  • Single-cycle I/O access port,
  • Up to 64 KB flash memory,
  • 256 B EEPROM,
  • Up to 4 KB RAM.

Tony Massimini, chief of technology at Semico Research, commented “It’s impressive to see a 32-bit MCU family at these price points for this type of environment. The Kinetis E series MCUs allow customers to step up performance and leverage more advanced development tools and the extensive ecosystem surrounding the ARM Cortex M0+ core. As we see the market shifting to 32-bit solutions, the robustness of these 5V MCUs should even make it possible for systems challenged by signal-to-noise concerns to make the switch.”

Design freedom with world-class software support

Kinetis E series MCUs feature world-class development support, including the FRDM-KE02Z Freescale Freedom development platform, Processor Expert software, as well as a software development kit providing easy access to sample software libraries. The low-cost Freescale Freedom development platform makes it easy for customers to rapidly evaluate and prototype with Freescale MCUs. Kinetis E series MCUs also benefit from broad ARM ecosystem support including off-the-shelf software, tools and training, as well as partner-developed solutions, such as IAR Embedded Workbench and the Keil MDK-ARM Microcontroller Development Kit. Additional development resources include middleware and software libraries with high performance and optimal power efficiency CoreMark/mA.

Availability and pricing

The first Kinetis E series device, the 64-pin QFP version of the KE02, is available now. Suggested resale pricing for the KE02 MCU family in 10K unit quantities ranges from 78 cents to $1.13 (USD). The FRDM-KE02Z Freescale Freedom development platform is available now for $12.95 (USD).

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