Freescale touts "world's smallest" ARM microcontroller

Posted by Trent Nouveau

Freescale Semiconductor has debuted the Kinetis KL02 MCU, which the company claims is the "world's smallest" ARM-powered microcontroller.

According to Freescale VP Geoff Lees, the KL02 is targeted at ultra-small-form-factor products, including portable consumer devices, remote sensing nodes, wearable devices and even ingestible healthcare sensing.

"Measuring just 1.9 x 2.0 mm, the Kinetis KL02 MCU is 25 percent smaller than the industry's next-smallest ARM MCU. Within this miniscule device, Freescale has included the latest 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0+ processor, cutting-edge low-power functionality and a range of analog and communication peripherals," Lees explained.

"This enables system designers to dramatically reduce the size of their boards and products while retaining the all-important performance, feature integration and power consumption characteristics of their end devices."

Meanwhile, ARM exec Richard York noted the microcontroller would also be a perfect fit for devices related to the "Internet of Things," which will soon evolve into a vast and diverse ecosystem of smart connected devices and screens.

"This could range from tiny sensors helping to monitor crops and deliver irrigation, to microcontrollers that enable entire buildings to be more energy efficient. Our mobile devices could be soon controlling and managing this data and making our lives easier to manage," said York.

Key device specs include:

* 48 MHz ARM Cortex-M0+ core, 1.71-3.6V operation
* Bit manipulation engine for faster, more code-efficient bit-oriented math
* 32 KB flash memory, 4 KB RAM
* High-speed 12-bit analog-to-digital converter
* High-speed analog comparator
* Low-power UART, SPI, 2x IICI2C
* Powerful timers for a broad range of applications including motor control
* -40 °C to +85 °C operation

The Kinetis KL02 CSP MCU remains on track to sample in March 2013, with pricing set at 75 cents (USD) in 100,000-unit quantities.