As an engineer, I am excited about cool new features, new technological advancements, faster solutions, and interesting factoids.
So, when I was recently tasked to roll-out the new entry-level family of Kinetis K MCUs, I was not initially all that excited. Entry-level to me meant basic, simple, plain – I did not think this family would have the coolness factor to make the big marketing push that I wanted. But, I soon learned that entry-level definitely does not mean boring.
First it helps to refer back to an earlier blog last month, where we explained the Kinetis K portfolio in a bit more detail. We have families within the Kinetis K series that offer customers all the bells and whistles they are looking for, but what if their application just doesn’t need all of those features – is there something to suit those customers too?
The answer is yes! The new Kinetis K0x family. The K0x family with its broadly available Kinetis K02, is exciting in its own way as it now provides customers with an entry-level MCU offering Cortex-M4 performance with floating point unit, without sacrificing power consumption or time to market. What it may lack in features it more than makes up for on performance, power consumption, and price, starting at just $.79 (USD) for 10Ku.
Rightsizing your MCU
The Kinetis MCU portfolio has solidified itself as a technology leader in Cortex-M-based devices, with milestones such as offering the world’s smallest ARM Powered® MCU, and that is definitely cool, but at the end of the day we understand you, as design engineers need something that is right-sized for your application. We understand you don’t want to pay for features you don’t need. And, you’re looking for the ideal level of integration that helps optimize your board space and BOM costs. We hear you!
The Kinetis K02 MCU maintains all of the basic features needed for a sophisticated MCU design – including the timers, clocks, analog, connectivity, and GPIO. And though it is a pretty modest amount, you still get 128KB Flash and 16KB SRAM. All of these peripherals clearly help place this as entry-level. This part will not break your financial budget – or your power bud
get with smart low-power savings such as:
Right-sized – as it relates to the K02 MCU – is about performance, features, and price. It used to be that when you think low-cost and ultra-low energy efficiency – you think Kinetis L series, but now the Kinetis K0x family starts to blur that line a bit, offering a very compelling Cortex-M4 solution that has integrated some of the key low-power features from the Kinetis L series based on ARM Cortex-M0+. In fact, that is what makes the Kinetis K02 the perfect bridge point for those of you looking for a boost in performance.
Kinetis K02 MCU – Try it and you’ll see
One of the biggest strengths of the broad Kinetis MCU portfolio continues to be its scalability and compatibility. So imagine starting with a device like the Kinetis K22 and realizing that you didn’t really need all the features and memory that it had to offer. Do you have to scrap all that design work and start over? No! Both the Kinetis K02 and K22 are supported by the same Kinetis SDK, and the S/W development for both is actually supported off of the same hardware – FRDM-K22F. And much like all Kinetis processors, both offer support across the wide-spread selection of IDEs, RTOS, and other software and tools. So that means you have an easier path to move to the Kinetis K02 MCU whenever the need arises, whether you are moving down a Kinetis K series or up from the Kinetis L series. Samples and tools are available today and can be ordered.
To learn more, check out this short interview with the Global Kinetis Product Manager, Paulo Knirsch.