Thursday, June 16, 2011

Freescale Kinetis Microcontroller Portfolio Continues to Gain Momentum

With unprecedented customer demand and a continually expanding product offering, Freescale Semiconductor’s (NYSE: FSL) Kinetis MCU portfolio built on the ARM® Cortex™-M4 core continues to generate tremendous momentum, with tens of thousands of samples and tools now in customers’ hands.

Later this month, Freescale plans to begin sampling the sixth Kinetis MCU family – the K50 family for medical applications – and release details about the Kinetis K70 MCU family, featuring a floating point unit (FPU), tamper detection and graphic LCD capabilities.

Since its industry-first introduction at the Freescale Technology Forum in June 2010, the Kinetis MCU portfolio has quickly established itself as a significant contender in the competitive market for ARM-based devices. In less than a year, Freescale has brought to market an extensive portfolio of pin-, peripheral- and software-compatible Kinetis MCU families with cutting-edge low power and mixed-signal innovation. The portfolio includes numerous human-machine interface (HMI), connectivity, safety and security peripherals, as well as the support of an expansive Freescale and third-party ecosystem.

“The market traction for our Kinetis portfolio has been outstanding,” said Geoff Lees, vice president of Freescale’s Industrial and Multi-Market MCU business. “Demand has been high for product training, silicon and development tools, and we look forward to supporting customers with planned mass production in the third quarter of this year.”




"With the well-defined peripheral set and a scalable portfolio of MCUs built on the ARM Cortex-M4 core, the Kinetis family is very attractive for many three-phase metering and networked metering applications," said Xanhuai Li, deputy general manager of the metering division and R&D director of Wasion Group, the world’s leading polyphase multifunction meter solution provider. "We’re delighted to work with Freescale and plan to continue using Kinetis MCUs as a platform solution for various future products."

"For our revolutionary Wi-Fi-enabled next-generation netTALK DUO Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone adapter, we were seeking an MCU-based solution that would satisfy the demanding performance requirements of VoIP telephony as well as the evolving expectations of our customers for new features & services," said Anastasios ‘Takis’ Kyriakides, chairman and CEO of netTALK.com, Inc., a leading competitive local exchange carrier and supplier of VoIP telephony services. "The combination of the DSP-enabled ARM Cortex-M4 core and Freescale's overall system solution gives us the performance headroom we need, while the rich on-chip feature integration provides design flexibility and BOM cost reduction. All of these factors helped us create a truly stellar product in the new netTALK DUO."

"Kinetis MCUs were the natural choice for our next-generation building automation systems due to the unique blend of MCU peripherals and development tools,” said Sandro Scavazzon, R&D manager of Adelco Elettronica, a supplier of building automation and control systems. "The on-chip FlexMemory functionality and bundled MQX™ real-time operating system has enabled us to optimize our hardware and software design and, in turn, deliver a more differentiated end product to the market in a shorter timeframe."

Gaining momentum

The Kinetis MCU portfolio’s combination of breakthrough silicon and tools has been warmly received by the industry and Freescale’s customers. Milestones achieved since the introduction include:

More than 30,000 samples shipped for a wide range of applications, from access control to global positioning systems
More than 15,000 Kinetis MCU hardware development kits shipped
More than 7,000 downloads of the complimentary Freescale MQX™ RTOS
Engagements with global customers and distribution partners on nearly 10,000 design opportunities
More than 9,000 customers trained via global Freescale and distributor seminar programs
Industry recognition, including the 2011 China ACE Awards Mixed-Signal Product of the Year, 2010 EDN Hot 100 products, 2010 Embedded Systems Editor's Choice Awards, and the 2010 China Electronics News MCU Excellent Product Design Award.
Volume production shipments of Kinetis MCUs are scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2011 and will be available through Freescale and its distribution partners.

New high-performance family members planned for Q4

In the fourth quarter of 2011, Freescale plans to introduce new devices in the Kinetis K10, K20 and K60 families. The devices are designed to feature up to 150 MHz CPU performance, 1 MB of flash memory and several new feature options, including a single-precision FPU. In addition, Freescale plans to begin sampling the Kinetis K70 MCU family, which adds an on-chip graphic LCD controller for advanced HMI applications.

The Kinetis K10, K20, K60 and K70 MCU families feature:

Single-precision FPU – extends the range of data-acquisition-intensive applications like brushless DC motor control and digital filtering by reducing computation time and code size while increasing system accuracy
High-speed USB host/device/On-The-Go – supports 480 Mbps data transfer using an external ULPI transceiver
Hardware tamper detection unit – integrated sensors for voltage, frequency, temperature variation and detection of physical attack
DRAM and NAND flash controllers, which enable the connection of DDR, DDR2 and low-power DDR memories as well as up to 32-bit ECC current/future NAND memories
Kinetis K70 family only: graphic LCD – supports QVGA LCD panels as a single-chip solution or up to 24-bit SVGA panels using external memory – supported by Freescale’s PEG Library with simple WindowBuilder interface for rapid GUI development.
Kinetis K50 MCU family availability

Kinetis K50 MCU family sample and tool availability is planned for June 21, 2011. Customers can leverage a powerful analog signal measurement and conditioning engine that delivers fast, single-chip processing capability for portable medical, instrumentation and test and measurement applications. USB, Ethernet, segment LCD and encryption modules provide options for secure data transmission between system components and the end user via a display.

Initially, Freescale plans to offer 100 MHz Kinetis K53 and K52 MCUs in 144 MAPBGA/LQFP packages, with smaller-pin-count devices planned for Q3 2011. Customers can explore the features of the Kinetis K50 MCU family using the TWR-K53N512-KIT development system. Technical sessions and live demonstrations of the Kinetis K50 MCU family in various medical applications will be featured at FTF Americas 2011.

Freescale has a history of providing long-term production support for its products. The Kinetis K50 family is included in Freescale’s product longevity program, with assured supply for a minimum of 15 years. See www.freescale.com/productlongevity for details, Terms and Conditions and to obtain a list of available products.

MCU Solution Advisor tool now available

Freescale is now offering a complimentary MCU Solution Advisor tool to help customers determine which MCU would best meet their design needs. To increase productivity and speed up the design process, designers can first work with the tool and then share their work with a local field applications engineer (FAE) for review as needed. The tool also includes a social component – users can share ideas or designs with others in their design community. For example, designers within the same company can see a pattern of parts commonly purchased within a company so they can design within that pattern.

The MCU Solution Advisor tool currently includes the Kinetis K10, K20 and K30 MCU families and will be expanded in the future to include many more Freescale and Kinetis MCUs, as well as recommendations for software and hardware solutions.

One-stop-shop enablement offering

All Kinetis MCU families come with a powerful suite of software and tools, including Freescale’s complimentary, full-featured MQX™ real-time operating system with integrated Ethernet and USB stacks, as well as support for low/no-cost Graphic LCD and Encryption plug-ins. Also bundled with Kinetis MCUs is the Eclipse™-based CodeWarrior 10.1 integrated development environment (IDE) with Processor Expert – providing a visual, automated framework to accelerate the development of complex embedded applications. Freescale continues to enable rapid evaluation and hardware prototyping with Kinetis Tower System modules and a growing range of peripheral modules, including Wi-Fi, sensing and precision analog. Kinetis MCUs are also supported by the expansive ARM ecosystem, including development tools from IAR Systems, Keil, Green Hills Software, Segger and CodeSourcery.

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