Freescale’s Kinetis L-Series ARM® Cortex™-M0+ based MCUs

Freescale announced a new line of ARM® Cortex™-M0+ based microcontrollers, the Kinetis L Series. The MCUs are supposed to offer the performance of a real 32-bit MCU at the price and energy rating of an 8-bit microcontroller.

A tight budget and low power requirements used to limit design engineers to 8-bit and 16-bit MCUs. Freescale’s new Kinetis L Series is supposed to change this and offer full performance, peripheral sets, enablement and scalability of a real 32-bit MCU with an exceptional energy efficiency and a low price.

All Kinetis L-Series MCUs are based on the ARM® Cortex™-M0+ core. All family members have several nifty features such as 12-bit ADC, SPI, I2C, RTC and even a touch sense interface in common. There are 5 sub-families of the Kinetis L-Series family for various different requirements [1].

The KL0 sub-family contains entry level MCUs with up to 32 KB Flash and 4 KB SRAM. Up to 256 KB Flash and 32 KB SRAM are offered by Freescale’s Kinetis KL1 sub-family. KL2 sub-family members offer the same features as the KL1 family plus an USB On-The-Go interface. Segment LCD MCUs are offered in the KL4 (without USB On-The-Go) and KL5 sub-family (with USB On-The-Go).

What makes this board interesting for homebrew designs is that Freescale offers a low-cost development platform equipped with a Kinetis KL2-series KL25Z128VLK4 MCU and a Expansion IO for Arduino™-compatible hardware. The FRDM-KL25Z development board, called Freedom, is available for just $12.95 from Newark [2]. The board is intentionally kept simple and offers an RGB-LED, an accelerometer and a capacitive touch slider as I/O-devices. The product is expected to start shipping next week. Until then, Newark takes pre-orders.

Freescale is going to ship out a pre-production Freedom FRDM-KL25Z development board before the official production boards leave their house and enable me to post a thorough an exclusive review before anyone else. So stay tuned for a “tell it like it is” guaranteed marketing BS-free review.

Links and Sources:
[1] Kinetis L Series MCUs, Freescale http://www.freescale.com
[2] FRDM-KL25Z development board, Newark http://www.newark.com

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