Saying it wants to expand its business in embedded
industrial applications, Freescale
Semiconductor Inc. yesterday rolled out seven new families of 32-bit microcontrollers
based on the ARM Cortex-M4 processor core.
families, which will eventually include as many as 200 separate
microcontrollers, are targeted at such applications as motor control, smart
metering, industrial automation, appliances, home automation and portable
medical devices. Known as Kinetis,
the new families of general-purpose microcontrollers were introduced to more
than 1,500 engineers and developers at the keynote speech of the Freescale
Technology Forum (FTF) held in Orlando.
to be successful, we need to expand our business beyond automotive," said Reza Kazerounian,
senior vice president and general manager of Freescale's Microcontroller
Solutions Group. "We want to have a bigger presence in medical, energy
metering, motors and drives, appliances, and general consumer and industrial
is currently the second biggest supplier in the $4 billion-a-year automotive
microcontroller market. But the company wants a greater share of the $8
billion-a-year general consumer and industrial MCU market, along with more
presence in the medical, appliance and energy metering markets.
says that the Kinetis family represents "one of the most scalable portfolios of
low-power, mixed-signal ARM Cortex-M4 processor-based MCUs in the industry." The
new devices are built using Freescale's 90-nm Thin-Film Storage (TFS) technology
with its so-called FlexMemory — configurable electrically erasable
programmable read-only memory (EEPROM).
five Kinetis MCU families are expected to begin "alpha sampling" in the third
quarter of 2010, with production starting during the first half of 2011. In
all, seven new Kinetis families are expected to be introduced, including 200
pin-, peripheral- and software-compatible devices.
engineers said the vision for the new families is to enable designers to choose
from a multitude of compatible devices that could be easily applied to a
variety of products.
"More and more customers want to
have one platform and then spread their software across it," said Jeff Bock,
director of marketing for Freescale's industrial and multi-market
microcontrollers. "Kinetis allows us to provide that better than anyone."
Siemens and Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology have achieved a faster production process based on selective laser melting for speeding up the prototyping of big, complex metal parts in gas turbine engines.
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