First ARM Cortex-M0+ parts launched for 49cents
June 20, 2012 // Nick Flaherty
Freescale Semiconductor is aiming to replace all its 8bit and 16bit processors with the industry’s first microcontrollers built on the ARM Cortex-M0+ processor for just 49cents..
The Kinetis L family of devices all include a 48MHz ARM Cortex-M0+ core with 12 or 16-bit analog-to-digital converters, 12-bit digital-to-analog converters, high-speed analog comparators and low-power touch sensing with wake-up on touch from reduced power states.
“In our view, 8- and 16-bit development has reached the end of the road. Those architectures simply can’t keep up as the Internet of Things gains traction,” said Geoff Lees, vice president and general manager of Freescale’s Industrial & Multi-Market MCU business. “Kinetis L series MCUs are ideal for the new wave of connected applications, combining the required energy efficiency, low price, development ease and small footprint with the enhanced performance, peripherals, enablement and scalability of the Kinetis 32bit portfolio.”
The first of three Kinetis L series families is the Kinetis L0 with up to 32KB of flash memory and ultra-small 4mm x 4mm QFN packages. This is pin compatible with the Freescale 8-bit S08P family and software- and tool-compatible with all other Kinetis L series families.
The Kinetis L1 family has 32 to 256 KB of flash memory and additional communications and analog peripheral options, while the Kinetis L2 adds USB 2.0 full-speed host/device/OTG. These L series devices are pin- and software-compatible with the Kinetis K series, built on the ARM Cortex-M4 processor, providing a migration path to DSP performance and advanced feature integration.
As machine-to-machine communication expands and network connectivity becomes ubiquitous, many of today’s standalone, entry-level applications will require more intelligence and functionality. With the Kinetis L series, Freescale provides the ideal opportunity for users of legacy 8- and 16-bit architectures to migrate to 32-bit platforms and bring additional intelligence to everyday devices without increasing power consumption and cost or sacrificing space. Applications, such as small appliances, gaming accessories, portable medical systems, audio systems, smart meters, lighting and power control, can now leverage 32-bit capabilities and the scalability needed to expand future product lines – all at 8- and 16-bit price and power consumption levels.
The ARM Cortex-M0+ processor consumes approximately one-third of the energy of any 8- or 16-bit processor available today, while delivering between two to 40 times more performance. The Kinetis L series supplements the energy efficiency of the core with the latest in low-power MCU platform design, operating modes and energy-saving peripherals. The result is an MCU that consumes just 50 uA/MHz in very-low-power run (VLPR) mode and can rapidly wake from a reduced power state, process data and return to sleep, extending application battery life.
Kinetis L series energy-saving peripherals do more with less power by maintaining functionality even when the MCU is in deep sleep modes. In traditional MCUs, the main clock and processor core must be activated to perform even trivial tasks such as sending or receiving data, capturing or generating waveforms or sampling analog signals. Kinetis L series peripherals are able to perform these functions without involving the core or main system, drastically reducing power consumption and improving battery life.
Kinetis L series alpha samples are available now, with broad market sample and tool availability planned for Q3. Pricing starts at a suggested resale price of 49 cents in 10,000-unit quantities. The Freescale Freedom development platform is planned for Q3 availability at a suggested resale price of $12.95.
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The development platform for i.MX 6Quad from element14 (built to the Freescale SABRE Lite design) is an evaluation platform featuring the powerful i.MX 6Q, a multimedia application processor with Quad ARM Cortex-A9 cores at 1.2 GHz from Freescale Semiconductor.
This month, Freescale and element14 are giving away five such platforms, worth £128.06 each, for EETimes Europe's readers to win. The platform helps evaluate the rich set of peripherals and includes a 10/100/Gb Ethernet port, SATA-II, HDMI v1.4, LVDS, parallel RGB interface, touch screen interface, analog headphone/microphone, micro TF and SD card interface, USB, serial port, JTAG, camera interface, and input keys for Android.
And the winners are...
In our previous reader offer, Pico Technology was giving away one of its recently launched PicoScope 3207B, a 2-channel USB 3.0 oscilloscope worth 1451 Euros. Lucky winner Mr L. Sanchez-Gonzalez from Spain should be receiving his PicoScope 3207B soon. Let's wish them some interesting findings with his projects.
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