Microwave Journal

Freescale runs Thread and Bluetooth® Smart from a single wireless MCU

October 13, 2015

Freescale Semiconductor, a leading provider of wireless microcontroller connectivity solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT), introduces the new Kinetis KW41Z – the industry’s first multi-mode radio MCU to support concurrent operation of IEEE® 802.15.4 Thread and Bluetooth Smart/BLE connectivity while hosting associated applications.

The Kinetis KW41Z MCU is a unique platform providing a comprehensive solution for applications and connectivity in a single package. An expansion of Freescale’s Kinetis KW40Z family of wireless MCUs, the new KW41Z MCU features extended memory – up to 512K Flash and 128K RAM – allowing multiple networking stacks to run on a single device and enabling true multiprotocol designs. The device also supports the latest Bluetooth specification v4.2, and offers exceptional RF performance with an on-chip balun facilitating wider coverage, better interference immunity, lower power and complexity, and fewer RF front-end components for a robust design.

“The powerful combination of multi-mode wireless connectivity support, optimized RF performance, and the ability to run our proprietary applications makes Freescale’s KW41Z MCU an exceptionally compelling choice for our next generation of end-to-end IoT solutions,” said Tolga Latif, CEO of Linx Technologies. “Freescale’s KW41Z MCU allows us to rapidly develop Thread-based IoT products featuring the latest functions, such as using BLE for sideband commissioning.”

The Kinetis KW41Z MCU helps transform a wide range of popular home devices such as thermostats, home security systems and door locks into advanced IoT systems by addressing multiple use cases in a single solution. The KW41Z MCU can run applications, add Thread connectivity, provide control of these systems with a smart phone or tablet via BLE, and use BLE to securely join devices to the network (sideband commissioning).

“Freescale is recognized as a longtime industry leader in MCU innovation, and we now are building on this leadership by redefining the state-of-the-art for wireless MCU connectivity,” said Emmanuel Sambuis, Executive Director, MCU and Connectivity Products at Freescale. “As the secure Internet of Tomorrow continues to take shape, Freescale is showing the way for the rest of the industry.”

Designing with Kinetis W series MCUs and Thread

Freescale plans to demonstrate several wireless IoT applications next month at ARM TechCon 2015, including a BLE controlled robot and a BLE heart rate monitor. These designs are based on the Kinetis KW40Z MCU, which integrates an ARM® Cortex®-M0+ core with a 2.4 GHz multi-protocol radio to support both the BLE and 802.15.4 wireless protocols in a single device. The KW40Z MCUs are BLE 4.1 compliant and present low-power features to provide years of operation on a standard coin cell battery. Freescale will also present an IoT sensor edge node reference platform based on the Kinetis KW24 wireless MCU, which integrates an ARM Cortex-M4 core with an IEEE 802.15.4 radio able to run the Thread, ZigBee Pro, ZigBee RF4CE and IPv6/6loWPAN protocols. Reference designs and other development resources for these types of demos can be found at freescale.com/KinetisDesigns.

As a founding member of Thread Group, Freescale is also at the forefront of enabling its wireless MCUs for popular IoT wireless protocols. The company’s pre-certified Thread stack for Kinetis W series MCUs is now available and ready to use for building Thread-enabled solutions. The stack will be certified when Thread Group releases the certification program. For more information, go to freescale.com/thread.