NUREMBERG, Germany — Without breathing a whisper about its merger plans, Freescale positioned itself as an end-to-end provider for Internet of Things (IoT) design at its Embedded World press conference last week, placing a special emphasis on its security offerings. With products suitable for edge-node IoT devices (including MCUs, sensors, and wireless connectivity), networking servers, and datacenters, the company claimed a stake in all aspects of the IoT. Several new products as well as new support initiatives also figured in the announcement.
For higher-end processing in automotive, home automation, and medical products, Freescale introduced the i.MX 6SoloX family. These heterogeneous, multicore applications processors combine a Cortex M4 and a Cortex A9 processor with cryptographic cypher engines and a dual-port Ethernet controller on a single chip. In line with its security emphasis, Freescale included such features as a configurable resource controller that can isolate peripherals to one core or the other, and a secure semaphore unit that allows multi-OS software to safely use shared peripherals. The ability to isolate system functions to a specific core helps prevent malware in one core from affecting the behavior of the other.
For motor control IoT applications, Freescale introduced the Kinetis KV5x series. These devices, based on the Cortex M7 core, include sophisticated analog and timing peripherals as well as an Ethernet controller for network connectivity. The devices can support fully asynchronous dual 3-phase motor control or eight half-bridge power stages. As with the 6SoloX family, the KV5x devices include numerous security features, including a cryptographic acceleration unit, a random number generator (for key generation), and a memory protection unit.
Freescale also introduced the BC3770 dual-path battery charger for wearable and portable IoT designs. The 2A switching regulator charger handles single-cell Li-Ion and Li-polymer battery types and switches at 1.5 MHz to help minimize the size of external components. Its dual-path design allows the charger to supply system power at the same time it is charging the battery.
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