Freescale's latest Kinetis microcontrollers set new standard for measurement and monitoring

K50 family's extensive on-chip integration and multiple connectivity options ideal for industrial and medical applications

NUREMBERG, Germany (Embedded World 2011) – March 1, 2011 – Freescale Semiconductor today announced the newest addition to its growing Kinetis 32-bit microcontroller (MCU) line – the Kinetis K50 family. This new family, targeted for medical and industrial applications, further expands the industry’s most extensive and scalable portfolio built on the ARM® Cortex™-M4 core.

The K50 MCU family offers multiple connectivity options for continuous monitoring and an integrated measurement engine for reliable processing of analog signals for applications such as portable medical devices, signal instrumentation and industrial test and measurement equipment.

“We’re breaking new ground for measurement and monitoring with our Kinetis K50 MCU family,” said Jeff Bock, director of marketing for Freescale’s Industrial and Multi-Market business. “This new family offers a best-in-class combination of multiple connectivity options, accurate analog signal processing and extensive scalability for a number of industrial and medical applications.”

The K50 family’s enhanced monitoring and measurement capabilities are particularly important for the medical market, as medical devices increasingly transition to portable formats. With the K50 family’s ability to reduce development time and increase functionality, all while operating with extremely low power, medical designers can quickly adapt to market trends and provide the portable, connected devices end users expect.

Scalable and easy to use

The K50 family delivers exceptional design freedom with the scalability of the Kinetis portfolio, easy-to-use software and modular hardware development tools. The K50 family, consisting of four subfamilies (K50, K51, K52, K53) with a total of 40 devices, is compatible with more than 200 other MCUs in the Kinetis portfolio. And, an extensive software ecosystem provides the freedom to choose a preferred IDE/software compiler.

The K50 family also can be leveraged as part of Freescale’s modular Tower Development System, which can save months of development time through rapid prototyping and tool reuse. Additionally, Freescale enables its customers by bundling complimentary MQX™ RTOS and communications stacks with the K50 product to reduce development time.

Integrated measurement

The integrated measurement engine, unique to the K50 family, allows reliable processing of external analog signals and eliminates the need for costly additional components, reducing developmental costs. On-chip signal processing is made possible with the integration of operational and transimpedance amplifiers, as well as a high-speed 16-bit analog-to-digital converter that converts and acquires the signal for accurate and timely results.

Multiple monitoring options

The K50 family offers multiple monitoring interfaces on chip, including Ethernet, an integrated low-power LCD controller, a capacitive touch-sensing module, as well as support for numerous communication protocols (USB, UART, SPI, I2C, I2S and/or external bus), providing multiple connectivity options for constant monitoring. The connectivity capability enables industrial and medical applications to constantly monitor, evaluate and control system variables. Medical device communication can also be achieved with the USB personal healthcare device class and Continua® connectivity libraries.

Assurance of supply

Freescale has a history of providing long-term production support for its products. The Kinetis K50 family is included in Freescale’s product longevity program, with assured supply for a minimum of 15 years. See for details, Terms and Conditions and to obtain a list of available products.

Demonstration, pricing and availability

Freescale is planning to demonstrate K50 devices in an electrocardiograph development tool at Embedded World. This demonstration is based on the modular Tower System platform, which allows rapid prototyping and tool reuse, potentially saving months of development time.

The K50 family offers 128 KB of flash memory in a 64-pin package starting at $3.58 (USD) MSRP for 10K quantities. Freescale intends to offer sample quantities in June 2011, starting with the 144 MAPBGA, 144 LQFP and 100 LQFP packages.

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About Freescale Semiconductor

Freescale Semiconductor is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets. The privately held company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing and sales operations around the world.