NXP microcontrollers target intelligent edge

30th January 2024
Mick Elliott

NXP Semiconductors has unveiled the MCX A14x and MCX A15x microcontrollers, the first families in the all-purpose, entry-level A Series of the MCX portfolio.

Says Romain Ricci, Regional Marketing Manager, Microcontrollers in EMEA for NXP, “We are experience exponential growth due to the so-called Secure Edge devices. This is typically IoT, also smart connected devices and also smart factories, smart homes and smart cars.”

“This brings some new challenges for designers. They need more performance, with efficiencies, so no cost of power consumption, and they also need the right tools to achieve that in the most flexible way.”

“The MCX A series is designed to allow engineers to do more supported by the Expresso software tools which is a one stop shop for developers and the latest iteration of the (FRDM) development platform,” adds Ricci. “To ensure scalability and software compatibility we have a unified core architecture based on the Cortex M-33.”

On-chip mixed-signal and digital communications peripherals include embedded PHY on the USB to save space on the pcb. Low power modes keep the peripherals running while the core is in sleep.

This small-footprint MCU boasts innovative power architecture, and software compatibility required by many embedded applications, including industrial sensors, motor control, battery or handheld power system controllers, IoT devices and more.  

The enhanced FRDM boards accelerate prototyping, as well as rapid porting and bring up of custom hardware.

Consistent tool suites across IDE choices, plus support for FreeRTOS and Zephyr, ensure scalability and portability across both MCX A and other NXP MCU platforms.

This makes it easier to quickly create new products or target new use cases on a common development platform with a consistent user experience. 

The MCX A14x runs up to 48 MHz and the MCX A15x runs up to 96 MHz.

The devices also feature support for low-power peripheral sets, BLDC/PMSM motor control, and integrated sensor interfaces (MIPI-I3C, I2C, and SPI).

The MCX A series will offer a wide variety of package and memory variants up to 1MB flash, as the platform extends throughout 2024. 

Each MCX A device includes a selection of smart peripherals able to act autonomously, independent of the CPU, allowing the CPU to run at a lower frequency and reduce power consumption. The intelligent peripherals include serial comms with built-in buffers, programmable data collection range and DMA; mixed signals ADC; DAC; operational amp with built-in intelligence for averaging and peak detection; and FlexPWM with dead time control and encoder for motor applications. The innovative power architecture is designed to support high utilization of I/Os and power efficiency with a simple supply circuit in a smaller footprint.

NXP uses a capless LDO power architecture which enables support for 57 GPIO pins for additional external connections, the MCX A allows designers to utilize a smaller package, simpler board design and lower system BOM costs.  

NXP’s FRDM development boards supported by the MCUXpresso Developer Experience promote creative freedom while developing for a variety of end applications.

These compact boards enable flexible and rapid prototyping, with industry-standard headers, including Arduino, the FRDM header, MikroBus and Pidom providing easy access to the MCU’s I/Os. With the on-board MCU-Link debug probe and USB-C cable included, engineers can develop, debug and program with ease.  

Developers can use NXP’s Expansion Board Hub, to find add-on boards from NXP and its broad partner ecosystem, with related MCUXpresso SDK-compatible drivers and examples. These add-on boards, also known as shields, come with standard, pre-populated headers to easily connect to the FRDM boards. Developers can quickly create solutions leveraging audio, connectivity, motor control, machine learning, graphics, touch, voice, sensing and more.

The new Application Code Hub enables engineers to easily find MCU software examples, code snippets and application software packs developed by NXP’s in-house experts.  

The FRDM boards and MCX portfolio are supported by the widely adopted MCUXpresso ecosystem.

A set of security features includes Unique ID, Code Watchdog, code readout protection and glitch attacks resistance.

Safety libraries are being developed to help engineers meet IEC standards for smart appliances and factory automation. “We have samples of the MCX A14x and A15x families available from our distributors now,” says Romain Ricci. He expects NXP to be to support customers with several 1000 units in the coming quarters, and be supplying large volume customers later in 2024.

Product Spotlight

Upcoming Events

View all events
Latest global electronics news
© Copyright 2024 Electronic Specifier