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Freescale introduces new ARM-based microcontrollers for automotive market

Freescale Semiconductor is introducing its ARM-based Kinetis series of microcontrollers (MCUs) into the automotive market. The new Kinetis EA series of MCUs, which integrates the broadly adopted ARM Cortex architecture, is expected to be especially well accepted in China, where time-to-market is paramount and developer familiarity with the ARM architecture is strong.

Target applications for the Kinetis EA series MCUs include seat, sunroof and fuel/water pump systems; general body electronics such as body control, park assist, CAN/LIN nodes, interior lighting; and engine control systems for two-wheel powertrain.

The new Kinetis EA series is designed to speed and to simplify the development process for body electronics applications. With Kinetis EA series MCUs, tier-one suppliers can develop initial prototypes in as little as 24 hours, and potentially reduce research and development time by two weeks or more, according to Freescale.

Kinetis EA series solutions complement Freescale’s continuing investment in its expansive 32-bit Qorivva and S12 MagniV mixed-signal MCU families, ultimately offering customers an extremely comprehensive range of options for electronics designs.

Technical features of Kinetis EA series MCUs include:

  • Pin-compatibility within the Kinetis EA MCU series for increased hardware and software reuse, saving significant development resources, cost and time;

  • Automotive-grade 32-bit MCUs, built on the ARM Cortex-M0+ core running at 48 MHz, certified to AEC-Q100 grade1 meeting the harsh requirements for temperatures ranging from -40°C to 125°C, along with enhanced ESD/EMC performance;

  • Scalable solutions including memory up to 128KB of Flash, package options up to 80LQFP (71 GPIO), and enabling designs that are easily scaled to suit diverse automotive application needs;

  • Capable of driving high-current motors/components with a voltage range from 2.7V to 5.5V. 5V analog/sensor components which are easily connected to system-level designs;

  • Advanced automotive connectivity through a rich peripheral set including CAN, LIN(SCI), SPI, and IIC;

  • Proven automotive IP including ADC, ACMP and multiple timers (FTM, PWM, PIT, PWT, RTC) available in packages to fit most automotive applications;

  • Rapid prototyping tools enabling quality software development including IDEs, the Processor Expert software modeling tool, MQX RTOS and AUTOSAR; and

  • Reference software code made available at no cost: LIN/CAN driver, Flash initialization, motor control libraries.

The initial Kinetis EA series devices are available now. Suggested resale pricing for the MCU family in 10K unit quantities ranges from 42 cents to $1.40 (USD).

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