At the Embedded World Conference in Nuremberg, Germany, Freescale Semiconductor took the wraps off its bid for a big piece of the embedded Internet of Things market: the Kinetis KL02 MCU which it claims is the world’s smallest ARM-based MCU.
Measuring 1.9 x 2.0 mm, it hopes that the MCU will be the driving force behind a new wave of product miniaturization for the Internet of Things in applications such as portable consumer devices, remote sensing nodes, wearable devices and ingestible healthcare sensing.
According to Geoff Lees, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale’s Microcontroller business, the Kinetis KL02 MCU is 25 percent smaller than the industry’s next-smallest ARM MCU.
The Kinetis KL02 is a wafer-level chip-scale package (CSP) MCU in based on the company’s use of the latest in package manufacturing technology to connect the die directly to the solder ball interconnects and, in turn, to the printed circuit board (PCB).
This removes the need for bond wires or interposer connections, which minimizes die-to-PCB inductance and improves thermal conduction and package durability for physically harsh environments.
The KL02 device is the third CSP MCU in the Kinetis portfolio, joining the larger 120/143-pin Kinetis K series K60/K61 variants. Additional Kinetis CSP MCUs with increased performance, memory and feature options are planned throughout 2013.
Taking advantage of the energy efficiency of the Cortex-M0+ core, said Lees, the Kinetis KL02 MCU reduces the power consumption threshold of the Kinetis L series to an even lower entry point and is ideal for the demanding power profiles of miniaturized, IoT-linked systems.
The ultra efficient KL02 delivers 15.9 CM/mA* and, like the other Kinetis MCUs, it includes autonomous, power-smart peripherals (in this case, an ADC, UART and timer), 10 flexible power modes and wide clock and power gating to minimize power loss.
A low-power boot mode reduces power spikes during the boot sequence or deep sleep wake-up. This is useful for systems in which battery chemistry limits the allowable peak current, such as those employing lithium-ion batteries frequently used in portable devices.
The 1.71-3.6V Kinetis KL02 MCU features a 48 MHz ARM Cortex-M0+ core as well as a bit manipulation engine for faster, more code-efficient handling of peripheral registers.
It also contains 32 KB flash memory, 4 KB RAM, a high-speed 12-bit analog-to-digital converter as well as a a high-speed analog comparator, low-power UART, SPI, 2x IICI2C capabilities and timers for a broad range of applications including motor control.
The Kinetis KL02 CSP MCU is expected to begin sampling to lead customers in March 2013. Broad market availability of production-qualified samples is planned for July 2013 from Freescale and its distribution partners.
The new FRDM-KL02 Freescale Freedom development platform and accompanying Freescale and third-party enablement support will also be available in July. Customers can start development with the FRDM-KL05Z Freescale Freedom development platform in late March. This contains the superset Kinetis KL05 MCU and provides access to the core, key peripherals and Freescale and third-party enablement.