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#FTF2014: It’s a Wrap!

Posted by freescale Apr 11, 2014

By Freescale Staff


More than 2,000 embedded enthusiasts joined us at the 2014 Freescale Technology Forum this week to explore technology innovations that are making our roads safer, our networks more productive, our homes more connected, our cities more efficient – our world smarter.


Everywhere we turned, partners, customers and engineers were building things together. The Hack-A-Day, sponsored by Make It Lab, brought together participants and mentors to finalize a design and make it Internet-of-Things-ready using the brand new Freescale FRDM-KL64F based on ARM-Cortex-M4. Many of our guests got the chance to program their own Kinetis Freedom Platform and take home the unique swag. We also had the opportunity to spend some quality time with the engineers of tomorrow, when local high school students from the Girl Scouts of Central Texas joined us to design robots that could throw a yoga ball 10 feet in the air. Simply walking around the Tech Lab hallways exposed us to hundreds of innovations that will make our lives more connected and fun. The Cadillac ELR car demo and SteadyServ® iKeg™, for example, were huge hits!




IMG_1243.JPGKinetis Mountain.jpgGlrlScouts.jpgCaddie 3.jpgSteadyServe.jpg
Sensor fusion at FTF

Another technology we are excited about is sensor fusion. The combination of data derived from different sources resulting in better, more accurate, complete and dependable information. We’ve seen examples of it throughout the tech lab – the Xtrinsic sensor fusion for Kinetis MCUs that combines an accelerometer, magnetometer and a gyroscope with the Kinetis MCU analyzing the data. Ideal for a variety of applications such as smart phones, IoT machine monitoring and failure prediction applications. Automotive applications such as Advanced Drive Assistance Systems (ADAS) are also a great example of where sensor fusion plays a critical role in advancing safety and ultimately brining the self-driving car to reality.


In this video, Freescale's Mike Stanley discusses Sensor Fusion to Sensor Intelligence as the IoT continues to help shape the sensor market.


Intelligent battery sensor and i.MX 6 series expansion

To close the week, we announced the industry’s first general market AEC-Q100 qualified intelligent battery sensor designed to support both conventional and emerging battery chemistries for automotive and industrial applications.  In addition, Freescale announced the expansion of its i.MX 6 portfolio with the industry’s first applications processor to integrate an ARM Cortex-A9 processor and an ARM Cortex-M4 processor in a single chip design. Freescale’s i.MX 6 series of applications processors is growing quickly, particularly in the automotive space, where shipments grew more than 50 percent from 2012 to 2013.


Inventor Dean Kamen shares the FIRST story

Inspirational, motivational, forward-thinking problem solver -- that's Dean Kamen. "Understated brilliance" is how one attendee described his Friday keynote. In his captivating address, he shared amazing innovations, which make our world smarter, greener and safer, from prostetic arms to tech that cleans drinking water in remote communities. His roles as inventor and advocate are intertwined—his own passion for technology and its practical uses has driven his personal determination to spread the word about technology's virtues and by so doing to change our culture of how we engage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Through it all, one theme was clear: You can help inspire generations of kids to STEM, and the FIRST organization makes it easy for all of us to participate. More on FIRST @ http://www.usfirst.org/.




Thanks to our Diamond sponsors
Our diamond partners and sponsors including Arrow Electronics, Oracle, Wind River, Avnet and Mentor Graphics were also showing off some of the coolest tech. And in partnership with Oracle and ARM, we demoed the Freescale Internet of Things Gateway, the foundation of the one box concept that will support the secure deployment of a vast array of IoT devices under a common standard.


sponsors FTF 2014 Diamond You ROCK!.PNG


If you didn’t get the change to join us at FTF this year, we hope you’ll consider it for the future! You can relive the 2014 experience by visiting our FTF web site where we have been posting daily highlights from the show floor. You can also check out coverage, photos, videos and more on our Facebook page, Twitter (our hashtag is #FTF2014), LinkedIn and Google+. Until next time!


Next year: We''re excited to share our hometown with the embedded community. FTF Americas 2015 will be in Austin!

By Freescale Staff


At Freescale, we see the Internet of Things (IoT) as billions of intelligent connections that will encompass every aspect of our lives and make our world smarter, greener and safer. From smart wearables, to smart energy, homes, factories and data centers, we are bringing the IoT to life by bringing connected intelligence to the embedded technologies that are shaping the network of tomorrow.


To the front line of the IoT

Yesterday, Freescale CEO Gregg Lowe kicked off FTF with a focus around the IoT, highlighting technology and customers that are demonstrating successful implementations from the consumer to the home. And this morning we continued our discussion, taking you to the front line of the IoT with Freescale Senior VPs and General Managers Geoff Lees from the Microcontrollers division, James Bates from the Analog & Sensors division and Tom Deitrich from the Digital Networking division. Joining them on stage were U.S. Department of Energy’s Patrick Davis, General Motors' John Haraf, Edgewater Networks’ Dave Martin, Envirologger's Jim Mills, and Freescale’s Kevin Traylor. There were also several simulcast demos from the tech lab with Freescale's Steve Nelson, Sujata Neidig and Kwok Wu. Together, they shared more about the vast array of devices enabled by our microcontrollers, sensors, analog devices and the network that connects it all together.


Geoff Lees K2.jpg
Microcontrollers are at the genesis of the Internet of Things. Geoff Lees covers embedded solutions, from K2, the next generation of Kinetis solutions that offers the latest power-efficient, cost-effective Kinetis MCUs and expanded enablement solutions. to an expanded range of i.MX 6 series processors making it the industry's first processors with ARM Cortex-A9 plus Cortex-M4 core to provide heterogenous multicore processing for high performing and graphically rich devices that require real-time responsiveness.

analog and sensors.jpg

One promise of the Internet of Things is that our connected electronic devices will sense and monitor our environment, consult information acquired from the cloud and repond with appropriate physical action to enhance our convenience or safety or both. Freescale offers an extensive analog, mixed-signal and sensor portfolio for bridging real world senses or environment to digital, embedded processing intelligence in the automotive, industrial and consumer markets.

Tom Deitrich DigitalNetworking.jpg

Tom Deitrich covers the most critical aspect of the Internet of Things. And that would be, of course, the Internet. The networking infrastructure implications for the dramatic increase in data traffic are significant, and the network transformation has already begun. This week, Freescale introduced a new family of QorIQ multicore processors built on Layerscape architecture, delivering a breakthrough, software-defined approach to advance the world’s new virtualized networks.


Expanding on the IoT landscape

In this video, Freescale’s Steve Nelson discusses the current IoT landscape and Freescale’s ongoing mission to shepherd customers into the brave new world of 50 billion connected devices by 2020.

And in this video, Freescale's Joe Byrne discusses the current IoT trends and how Freescale is positioned to support this market.


Get into the IoT gateway

This week, we also announced new products aimed at streamlining the design process of IoT devices and applications, including the IoT gateway, the result of collaboration between Freescale, ARM and Oracle. The IoT gateway helps simplify the secure delivery of IoT services to end users in a home, business or other location, supporting the rapid deployment of a vast array of innovative IoT services. Here, Freescale's Michael Haight discusses the importance of the IoT gateway for the embedded community.


i.MX 6 series expands

Freescale also expanded its popular i.MX 6 series of application processors, the industry’s first application processor to integrate an ARM Cortex-A9 processor and an ARM Cortex-M4 processor in a single chip design. By bringing the flexibility, performance and low-power advantages of heterogeneous computing to its flagship i.MX 6 series of applications processors, Freescale is taking display-centric embedded processing to new levels. Both the one box gateway and the new i.MX 6 series are being demonstrated in the Freescale Technology Lab each evening.


If you haven’t visited our FTF web site yet, please do so to catch up on daily highlights, keynotes, photos, demo videos, and interviews with our team and partners from the show floor. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter (our hashtag is #FTF2014), LinkedIn and on Google+ where we are sharing real-time updates and coverage related to this week’s multiple announcements, across all divisions at Freescale.

By Freescale Staff

GreggLoweKeynote.PNG.pngNinety minutes of design inspiration – that’s how one attendee described Freescale CEO Gregg Lowe’s keynote this morning to a packed crowd of more than 2,000 embedded design enthusiasts. And we couldn’t agree more. With so many compelling innovations on stage, from RF technology that cooks a fish in a block of ice without thawing the ice, an electric luxury car, a professional performance system for vocals, guitar and phase looping, to glasses that can help some of the 246 million visually impaired see, we’re hard pressed to pick the crowd pleaser.


Today with Oracle, we demonstrated the Freescale IoT gateway, the hardware platform that forms the foundation of the flexible one box concept. It will be equipped with multi-party software, and engineered to support the secure delivery of IoT services to end-users in a home, business or other locations.


Engaging in the Internet of Things (IoT), Freescale is featuring its embedded leadership and ability to touch all areas of the IoT – from microcontrollers, digital networking, secure data, connected cars, AirFast RF power solutions, RF lighting, defense, aerospace, land mobile and cellular infrastructure. And with the dramatic expansion of networking infrastructure, these devices are connecting to the Internet at a dramatic pace.


The landscape for software-defined networking

With 50 billion devices expected to be connected by 2020, there has been a surge in the volume of machine- and human-generated data as well as an increase in network endpoints. Many of these networks have also become virtualized in order to cope with new data traffic and volumes, giving rise to software-defined approaches to build the networks of tomorrow.


Two years ago, Freescale was the first to address these fast-moving dynamics by introducing the next generation of QorIQ platforms built on our Layerscape architecture. This week, we announced the new QorIQ L2 family of ARM-based network processors designed to support software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV). The new processors enable engineers to focus on innovating at the application level by abstracting tasks such as setup, initialization and teardown. The devices also support wireless access, enterprise routing, and data center processing applications.


In this video, Freescale’s Tareq Bustami discusses how software-defined networking is transforming the networking space. He also explains how software-aware solutions have become crucial by helping engineers fully and easily exploit architectural capabilities and join the “new network.”


Engineers and programmers agree that networking processors have traditionally been complex to program, often requiring the manual coding of software. Freescale’s new QorIQ LS2 is fully programmable and highly flexible, enhancing performance for smarter, more capable networks. Check out these demos from FTF:




Paving the way for advanced driver assistance systems

In the IoT, the evolution of the connected vehicle is a driving force. Cars are the ultimate smart mobile device with electronic solutions replacing mechanical systems to enhance the driving experience, improve safety and increase vehicle efficiency.


The average car now contains more than 60 MCUs and more than 10 million lines of code. By 2018, one in five cars on the road will be self-aware and able to share information on the mechanical health, their global position and surroundings. Network service operators see automobiles as their next big opportunity.


Today, we continue increase the intelligence inside the car with the introduction of the highest performance MCU in the industry that will enable the next generation of mid-range vehicles to include highly advanced graphics and display technology for in-car dashboards.


In this video, Freescale's Andrew Robertson, ADAS applications engineer demonstrates the latest Qorivva MPC577xK MCU and the MRD3000 multi-channel 77 GHz radar transceiver chipset that powers this radar-based safety systems to help drivers manage blind spots and to detect for side impacts. This long- and mid-range frontal radar is also used for adaptive cruise control.



Our FTF guests can visit our interactive technology lab to see many of these embedded solutions. But remember that if you are not here, you can still experience FTF virtually on our web site, which includes daily highlights, keynote speeches, photos, demos, and interviews from the show floor. Be sure to follow the FTF action on our Facebook page, through Twitter updates (our hashtag is #FTF2014), on LinkedIn and on Google+.

No matter how you define “smart,” it starts with innovation. And innovation and creation are in Dallas this week at the 2014 Freescale Technology Forum Americas (FTF). We’re bringing design engineers, ecosystem partners, media, product experts and executives under the same roof to celebrate the innovation that makes the world a smarter place.


I’m already feeling the energy and excitement build as more than 2,000 embedded design enthusiasts check in for four days of FTF. Thought-provoking panel discussions, more than 400 hours of technical sessions and 250 demos in the interactive technology lab await us. FTF is all about collaboration, designing and scanning the future.


With more than 50 billion devices connected by 2020, a key theme throughout this year’s event revolves around the Internet of Things. Freescale’s products bring enhanced embedded intelligence to a wide range of devices and to technologies shaping the network of tomorrow.


Watch for news and demos on the IoT, automotive advance driver assistance systems (ADAS) and car dashboards, software-defined networking (SDN), sensor fusion – plus so much more. Just today, we announced an exciting expansion of Freescale’s flagship Kinetis K series of MCUs and we launched the new QorIQ LS2 family of ARM-based network processors designed to support SDN, and network function virtualization.


You’re paid to think. Whether you’re here with us in Dallas, or you’re watching online, FTF allows you to think in a more open environment. We’re excited to share this with you and to see what innovations you create to make the world a smarter place.


Experience FTF virtually:

Web site

Facebook page

Twitter updates (our hashtag is #FTF2014)





Brandon Tolany is a Senior Vice President and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer.

Embedded World Nuremberg welcomed 26,000 visitors this year. I was impressed by the number of companies and solutions that were displayed for industrial and multi-market. Even if we can understand historical reasons, what amazed me was all these small companies with innovative solutions for this fragmented market.


More and more offerings are adopting the best from the consumer market — intuitive user interface, high-definition media, sleek design, long-battery life time — while addressing industrial requirements, including ruggedness, stringent qualification, security, product longevity of 10 years.


For instance, if you look at Freescale’s proven partners showcase picture, you’ll see numerous demonstrations based on screen and user interface with OS such as Linux, WinCE, and Android. The large majority of these proven partners are the EBS (Embedded Board Solution providers) who provide ready-for-production standard and custom form factor board embedding application process, memory, and OS and their market is booming (> 29% CAGR for ARM® based board from IHS 2013).

Embedded World EBS 2014.JPG.jpg

Proven Partners showcase at Freescale’s booth during Embedded World

This year, I had the opportunity to speak at Embedded World Conference in line with my quest of how to tackle M2M and IoT challenges: “M2M and Embedded Processing: Advantages of Multi-core and Asymmetric Processing.” It’s a broad, exciting topic, but unfortunately could only be addressed superficially in a conference setting. Books or a dedicated conference would be more appropriate.


My view regarding solution for M2M is that “One size doesn’t fit all” and the perspectives I provided were that asymmetric (heterogeneous) processing will become mainstream and will address some of M2M challenges while enabling new applications.  Other advantages are: next level of energy efficiency improvement, enabling concurrent real-time and non real-time, strong security, smaller physical size and cost-effectiveness.


This exercise made me realize that too many developers are not aware about asymmetric processing architecture and their advantages. Even using multicore processing such as partitioning for security or effectively using GPU, DSP and multicore processors (ARM® or Power Architecture® technology based) seem not so obvious for software developer. Hence, be able to develop applications with concurrent real-time tasks and user interface or critical code security coexisting with a standard OS is today an invaluable asset. For energy efficiency purpose, big.LITTLE™ processing from ARM seems the solution to get heterogeneous processing widely adopted by the developer community.


Stephane Gervais-Ducouret is a Global Marketing, Partnership & Solutions Manager at Freescale.

Today’s network is run on agility. In this context, agility is often defined as “faster everything.” Not only are the data rates of the networks increasing, but more importantly from an SDN context the network connections themselves are in constant flux. Mobile devices are moving around within a city, state, country, and continent. Connectivity moves back and forth between WiFi and broadband, yet we expect our phones, our tablets and our computers to always be connected and to always receive only the data that is meant for them. These mobile devices are connecting to enormous cloud data centers with hundreds of thousands of computers providing services. These computers communicate with each other as much or more than they do the clients as they deliver information, entertainment and communications services. With global data center traffic growing at a compound rate of 25% per year (Cisco Global Cloud Index White Paper), the ability to support rapid provisioning of new and ever more complex systems and services becomes a key requirement for networking equipment customers.


Much of this build out of data center capacity has been supported by the transition to server virtualization, which provides for higher utilization of compute resources.

Beyond servers, storage systems are also deploying virtualization technology as well to increase their utilization. While this progress was occurring with server and storage systems, it became clear that networking technology itself was restricting the speed at which new IT and communication services could be developed and deployed because it lacked proper industry standard programming interfaces or platforms upon which management software could be built.


Enter software defined networking (SDN) – an approach that enables the management of networks through a programmable network paradigm, as opposed to the traditional (and often proprietary) distributed control protocols that have been used up to now.


Freescale recognized the shift to SDN very early on and has made significant hardware and software investments to support it. Freescale is committed to providing the high-performance multicore processors and software solutions required to build SDN-based networking environments. Our product and development teams operate under the fundamental belief that SDN changes the way processors are designed, enabled, and supported and we have placed a strong emphasis on architecting our solutions to meet the needs of next-generation networks.


In this video, Tom Deitrich, senior vice president and general manager of Digital Networking, and Sam Fuller, head of system solutions, share Freescale's approach for software-defined networking.


Our strategy focuses on several core areas, all of which are designed to match the challenges network operators are facing today when considering deploying SDN solutions:

  • Driving SDN Optimization: SDN requires processors to deliver more than ever in terms of high performance and power — for both processing and accelerations.  For example:


Data plane:

        • SDN defines new ways of parsing and classifying network traffic
        • SDN involves new encapsulations
        • None of the above are truly standardized, thus any processor must be flexible to support a given vendors' SDN scheme

Control plane:

        • SDN in most cases is likely to be implemented as an overlay on non-virtualized networks. Thus, a switch must support both SDN agent software and traditional local control-plane software.
        • Underlying switch ICs are unlikely to be SDN-optimized for now. Thus, the control processor must intermediate between SDN and pre-SDN worlds


At the heart of SDN is the decoupling of the control and data paths, with the provision of an API between the two such that a centralized controller can instruct the data path on how to behave. This does not preclude, however, intelligence local to the data path making forwarding decisions. Preserving local control as in the pre-SDN regime alleviates bottlenecks at the centralized controller and reduces latency. The net result is that the processors in switches now have to carry the load of both the local control functions that they previously did and the SDN agent functions. The processors on those now-intelligent switches have a lot more work to do. Freescale offers the optimized solutions for both multicore processors and software to accommodate unprecedented levels of programmability, performance and acceleration.


  • Defining Industry Standards: Freescale has been at the forefront of shaping the future and stability of SDN. We hold a leadership position in the Open Network Forum (ONF), and are leading the definition and standardization of the OpenFlow protocol. One of the only silicon vendors directly participating in ONF “plugfest” events, Freescale has made multiple contributions to the development of OpenFlow, including playing a strong role in the definition of the ONF northbound API interface.


  • Demonstrating Innovation for Next Generation Networks: Freescale has a long history of matching architectural changes to evolving network requirements, and meeting the needs of the new network is no exception. Freescale’s multicore processing technology and the industry’s first software-aware data path acceleration architecture provide a foundation for SDN-inspired innovation, including beyond L2-L3 into L4-L7 network functions. Customers can use our recently announced VortiQa SDN solutions, along with our QorIQ multicore processor platforms to develop open and innovative network systems  based on the principles of SDN.


SDN is here to stay, and operators must look to take advantage of SDN capabilities in their companies to ensure future growth and industry relevance. At Freescale, we understand the engineering support required for this next era of transformation and we’re continuing to look forward in our networking product and development labs – stay tuned, there is more to come.


Tareq Bustami is Vice President and General Manager of Product Management for Digital Networking.

It’s spring in Austin, which means wild temperature swings, a week-long relief from traffic and SXSW. It also means a great chance to spend time with marketing experts from a wide range industries. I wanted to share a conversation I had at one of these marketing gatherings when the discussion turned to IoT.


If you’re in our industry, you know what Freescale does. If you’re not at least a company that makes things with electronic content, you're less familiar with the kind of technology that Freescale develops. So as I talked with them, explaining what we do, I pulled out a very handy reference card that shows the size of our latest innovation: the world’s smallest 32-bit ARM based microcontrollers.


It’s a little hard to grasp until you see it. The smallest one will fit easily into the dimple of a golf ball. You literally have to hold the card up to the light to see it. For the group, it was a lightbulb moment. In the realm of IoT, making powerful processors this small will enable whole classes of new products.  We can put intelligence into areas that we didn’t think possible. This is the kind of innovation that keeps IoT moving forward.


One of the group said “this is like a windy spring day in Austin, it’s just like all the tree pollen”. Well, not exactly, but it does give a great analogy. Products like this can be scattered in huge volumes into a myriad of new intelligent products.


And this week, UBM reaffirmed our belief that this is a truly innovative product, by awarding Freescale the Ultimate Products – Processors category for the Kinetis KL02 CSP at the 2014 ACE awards in San Jose. What an accomplishment by the Freescale MCU team to be rewarded by your peers. This is also an acknowledgement that the KL02 CSP products are the kind of innovation that will enable groundbreaking products in medical, wearables and other growing segments.


It was a great evening for Freescale, and the other winners as well.


Now, how to create that "smart pollen" ...


Education and outreach are big parts of what many of us at Freescale do. Here's a quick run-down of sensor events in the recent past and near term future:

  • On January 31, the IEEE formed working group P2700 to begin efforts to formalize "Standard for Sensor Performance Parameter Definitions".  This document was first introduced by the MEMS Industry Group (MIG) last year.  It was co-authored by my friends Ken Foust of Intel and and Carlos Puig of Qualcomm, and supported by eleven other companies operating in this space, including Freescale.  You can find the MIG 1.0 draft here.  I expect to see the same content fast-tracked through the IEEE approval process this year.
  • On February 17, Matt Muddiman of Freescale presented "Applications and Commercial Issues", as part of the MEMS Education Series (hosted by Arizona Technology Council and MEMS Industry Group) in Scottsdale Arizona.  Matt came away from the event impressed by the varied background of the attendees.  This is often a hallmark of MIG-sponsored events.
  • ARM hosted a Google+Hangout on Air event on February 18 entitled "Internet of Things: Complexity of software for Sensor Fusion".  It was moderated by Will Tu of ARM.  Panelists included Diya Soubra of ARM, Adrian Woolley of Atmel, Kevin Shaw of Sensor Platforms and myself.  You can view view comments and YouTube video of the event by following the link above.
  • The America's session of the Freescale Technology Forum will be held April 8-11 in Dallas. Freescale will be hosting 10 sensor specific sessions, as well as 7 sensor-specific demos in the technology lab.  I will be teaching two of those classes and on-hand in the Tech Lab a good portion of the week.  I hope you can join us.

FTF Session Number

Session Title


Xtrinsic Sensing: An Introduction to Intelligent Sensing Framework (ISF)


Xtrinsic Sensing: Introduction to Freescale's Sensor Product Portfolio


Sensors Enabling Intuitive Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) – from 3D Mouse to Power Tools


Hands-On Workshop: Xtrinsic FXLC95000CL Sensing Platform with Intelligent Sensing Framework (ISF) (Reserved Seat Required)


Lunch and Learn: Xtrinsic Sensor Fusion on Kinetis MCUs


Blood Pressure Monitoring Using Freescale's Xtrinsic Smart Pressure Sensor


Hands-On Workshop: Xtrinsic Intelligent Sensing Framework (ISF) on Kinetis MCUs (Reserved Seat Required)


Xtrinsic Sensing: Application of Physical Tamper Detection and Safety Shutoff


Xtrinsic Sensing: Industrial Automation and Building Control Applications


Hands-On Workshop: Xtrinsic Sensor Fusion Library for Kinetis Hands (Reserved Seat Required)


Michael Stanley is a systems engineer at Freescale.

I just spent two days at embedded world in Nuremberg. My overall impression? The show should be renamed “embedded world for the Internet of Things.” The pervasiveness of the IoT — from demo signs to hands-on sessions — was undeniable. I could not turn a corner without hearing IoT chatter or seeing IoT-this and IoT-that signs. Once seen by some as hype, the IoT has become reality as implementations are becoming more concrete. I saw countless makers and demonstrations of wearables, automotive systems, medical monitoring, and home appliances that are fueling the IoT market with new smart, connected solutions.


Aside from evidence of its growth, if you talk about the IoT with anyone, you’ll hear an endless number of technology challenges and debates. These are the top five that I heard the most:

  • Processing performance versus power consumption
  • Hardware and software scalability 
  • Wireless connectivity support
  • Very optimized and small form factors
  • Security and data integrity

Plus more …


I can’t list them all. But, what I can share with you is what I shared with many people at embedded world when I was asked how Freescale could tackle these challenges.


Let’s take the node-level challenge, for instance. More and more nodes are being deployed in all kind of equipment that sometimes need to be up-and-running for a decade (yes, 10 years) with a small battery. How do you solve that challenge?

How do you manage the integration of an IoT node when the equipment does not support today’s advanced electronics?

When you consider very small and optimized mechanical designs, how can you make your equipment smarter and connected?

My answers to those questions (and more) were easy.


Kinetis mini MCUs for IoT

Our newest, the Kinetis KL03 mini MCU is a tiny ultra-small 1.6 x 2.0 mm² wafer-level CSP supports the IoT. It’s billed as the world’s smallest most energy efficient 32-bit MCU and it’s based on ARM’s ultra-low-power Cortex-M0+ architecture. (Read more about it here and here.)




When I showed a sample of the chip to someone who was building out an infrastructure solution for the food and retail industry, he told me he would put it “everywhere, yes everywhere. Even in our cup of coffee so it will ask for refill by itself.”  (Coffee on demand!)


With its small footprint and ultra low power performance, the Kinetis mini MCU can be used as an IoT node engine. However, to help solve the IoT challenges, we are not only working at the smallest IoT node level, we are trying to ease the IoT deployment and implementation at each stage of the network.


One box for all

Case in point: The “one box” platform with Oracle. I heard great feedback on this topic, from the partnership with Oracle to the complete IoT value chain enabled all the way through the gateway based on Freescale’s i.MX 6 series applications processor, reaching nodes supported by Kinetis MCUs, all the way secure through the Java™ platform.


emb world 2014 OneBox.jpg


This platform is open and based on available software and hardware to help engineers both accelerate their IoT designs and rollout the IoT service implementation in a secured way.


RIoT at embedded world

Fantastic energy and enthusiasm is the best way that I could describe some of the newer developers and smaller companies who were starting their journey into the world of the IoT. However, accessing and leveraging embedded technologies can be a long journey, and I heard a variety of questions from small companies, and even hobbyists.


How do we start affordable IoT application development on the leading edge technology? 

Who will provide me with software and hardware support?

How can I leverage good tips or existing solutions which could accelerate my development?

How can I quickly bring up and run a first system?


EW14_RIoT Board Up.jpg


New innovators have many good questions that could easily turn into big development roadblocks, and that’s why we are engaged in a powerful partnership aimed at helping the developer community. In collaboration with Element 14, we launched the open source community board: RIoTboard.org. This open source, single board, platform is based on the ARM® Cortex®-A9 architecture. It’s designed to help speed development with the designer and hobbyist in mind.


RIoTBoard offers the successful and well recognized i.MX technology, with i.MX 6Solo processor based on ARM Cortex-A9 Core architecture, operating at speeds up to 1GHz – also Integrated debug circuit using the Kinetis K20 MCU and Freescale PMICs.


With this board, anyone who wants to develop and kick start an IoT project can access a low-cost tool, supported by Linux and Android Jelly Bean. Developers can also access the community support riotboard.org and available reference designs are also available.


Yes, embedded world 2014 is over but the IoT journey is starting NOW – and Freescale is in the center – investing and enabling all the technologies that hardware and software developers need for their next big IoT design. So now, what would you do with all the Freescale technology at your fingertips?


Sylvain Gardet is Freescale's EMEA embedded processor marketing manager.

This blog post is also available in Chinese and Japanese


Freescale saw a lot of positive changes in 2013. We gained market share, restructured our business to align with opportunities for growth, and restructured and reduced our debt. But challenge has never been an obstacle when it comes to doing what we do best: provide differentiated solutions to your problems. Our commitment to our customers is what keeps us motivated. We are listening to you and making the adjustments to better fit your needs.


If our rich history is any indicator, we are known for creating innovative products that differentiate us from the competition. From the first commercial high-power transistor in 1955 to the world’s smallest ARM Powered® 32-bit MCU introduced last year, we are continuing to build on our legacy. As an employer of innovators, Freescale was part of the Top 100 Innovators of 2013 and currently has more than 6,400 patent families. Leveraging our technological edge, we are focused on being leaders in the markets that provide the greatest opportunities for growth, such as the Internet of Things, sensor fusion, advanced driver assistance systems and software defined networks.


Our broad portfolio allows us to solve customer problems in virtually every market, but we are always thinking a step ahead. Today, we’re technology leaders in markets like network data security and advanced driver assistance systems. And this year marks important milestones as we reach 150 million units shipped of our popular i.MX line, 3 billion microcontrollers shipped, and 10 million units of QorIQ processing platforms shipped with 140% growth year over year (2013 vs. 2012) in the multicore segment.


Freescale strives to be where you are, and increasing our involvement in a global community of engineers and inventors is a key focus. With more than 80 physical locations worldwide, we are continuing to expand our global presence with a special focus in mainland China.


From building our portfolio, getting involved with up and coming technologies and expanding locations globally, we believe Freescale is positioned for growth in 2014. Our passion for what we do reflects in the satisfaction we provide to customers and communities worldwide and this year our goal is to exceed expectations.


View the video with CEO Gregg Lowe and SVP Brandon Tolany discussing Freescale’s 2013 successes and our plan to move forward in 2014. We are open to suggestions on how we can improve and create a better partnership with you.



Thank you for being a part of the Freescale family; your continued commitment and support is essential to our success.


John Dixon is Director of Corporate Marketing at Freescale.



フリースケールは、長年にわたって、他社にはまねのできない革新的な製品の開発を続けています。1955年に出荷を始めた世界初の商用高性能トランジスタから、昨年発表した世界最小のARM Powered® 32ビット・マイクロコントローラに至るまで、フリースケールはその歴史を積み重ねてきました。時代を切り開く人材の集まるフリースケールは、2013年のTOP 100グローバル・イノベーターに選出され、現在6,400件以上のパテント・ファミリを保有しています。フリースケールは、その技術的優位性を活用して、IoT(モノのインターネット化)や、センサ・フュージョン、先進運転支援システム (ADAS)、SDN (Software-Defined Network) といった最大の成長チャンスをもたらす市場分野においてリーダーになれるよう重点的に取り組んでいます。

フリースケールは幅広いポートフォリオを揃えており、ほとんどあらゆる市場のお客様の問題を解決可能です。しかし、フリースケールは常にその先を見据えています。今日では、ネットワーク・データ・セキュリティや先進運転支援システム (ADAS) などの市場分野において技術をリードしています。2012年から2013年にかけてマルチコア分野で年間140%の成長を実現しており、今年は、i.MXアプリケーション・プロセッサが1億5000万個、マイクロコントローラ製品がトータルで30億個、QorIQプロセッシング・プラットフォームが1000万個の出荷数を達成する記念の年となります。









Exactly one year ago, February 2013, Freescale announced the world’s smallest ARM Powered® MCU – the Kinetis KL02 MCU. The response from the market was tremendous (see here, here and here).


This 1.9 mm x 2.0 mm chip was poised to revolutionize the Internet of Things by enabling exciting possibilities for a new tier of ultra-small, smart, power-efficient devices. Design engineers were wowed by the performance and integration provided in an MCU that’s the size of a grain of rice, making the impossible seemingly possible.


As the Internet of Things continues to evolve, the demands for even ‘smaller’ design and more functionality become even more important.


Our engineering team took an already small MCU one step further: Why not add some additional functionality that customers want – but make the chip even smaller?


That’s exactly what we did with the recently announced Kinetis KL03 device, the next world’s smallest MCU. This chip is 15% smaller than its predecessor, but adds important functionality such as bootloader with ROM and ADC voltage reference.  This means that design engineers can more easily support factory programming and online system firmware upgrades and deliver improved analog performance with higher accuracy.  Plus, the Kinetis KL03 MCU enables even lower power (longer battery life) with new features like low power UART and low power wake up.


Smart product design, optimized ball layout

The Kinetis KL03 device is more than 35% smaller than competitive CSP solutions, and the Kinetis mini MCUs represent the best of the MCU industry showing just what electrical engineers can do with silicon.  Could things get smaller?  Definitely.  Smaller dies, new process technologies, finer pitch solder ball layouts. The possibilities are endless.  I am excited to see what the future holds.


The response from my first blog about the Kinetis mini MCUs was great, and hopefully you had some fun with the social media campaign that we talked about in my second blog.  A couple of comments that I saw stood out for me:


First was weight.  I previously focused the Kinetis mini MCU comparisons on size (primarily around area).  But there is a big benefit to weight as well. We did some measuring in the lab and found that 5000 Kinetis KL03 CSP samples weigh under 20 grams.  Especially when we talk about end-node IoT applications, we each have a vested interest in devices being as light as possible since many of these devices are expected to be carried on the person.  Monitors, tracking devices, communication products need to be small AND light weight.


Second was more photos. Many of you said you wanted to see more photos with product comparisons to better visualize just how small these Kinetis mini MCUs really are. With the release of the new Kinetis KL03 device, I thought this was a perfect time to share some new photos.




But one of my favorite comments that I received recently said “A picture may be worth a thousand words, but an actual part is worth ten thousand words.”  I couldn’t agree more.  Want to order a mechanical sample?  Email Minis@freescale.com.


Kathleen Jachimiak is a Freescale product manager for Kinetis mini MCUs.

30615-IND-FRDM-Duo2_angle_LR.jpgIn my December post, New sensor expansion boards for Freescale Freedom development platform, I introduced you to the FRDM-FXS sensor shields for the platform.  From the "Downloads" tab on the FRDM-FXS-MULTI-B web page, you can now download demo executables for the FRDM-KL25Z and FRDM-K20D50M boards that are compatible with Xtrinsic Sensor Fusion Toolbox for Android. (You can read more about this app here: Free Android App Teaches Sensor Fusion Basics.)  The links for the two executable are labeled FRDM-K20D50M_MQXL (compiled for ARM® Cortex-M4) and FRDM-KL25Z-MQXL (compiled for ARM Cortex-M0+).  You will need to log into the Freescale Community and accept a click-through license/disclaimer to gain access to the files.

One of the things I like most about the Freescale Freedom development platform is its ease of use.  It can be programmed with a bootloader that allows you to plug the board into your PC via USB, and install software (such as these files) with a simple drag and drop.  If you haven't done this before, let me recommend a couple of resources for you:

Last June, I posted a number of videos to the Freescale website which show you how to run the Sensor Fusion Toolbox.  Although we've added a number of features to the toolbox since then, the basic principles described in the videos still apply.  Using the combination of hardware (shown at left), embedded code from the links above, and the Sensor Fusion Toolbox, you can experiment with different combinations of MCUs, sensors and algorithms, in real time, on your own phone or tablet.

Now here is the really cool part, the embedded fusion library at the heart of this functionality is now available in via the "Xtrinsic Sensor Fusion Library for Kinetis MCUs - Evaluation Version and documentation" link, available from the same Downloads tab listed above.  The download package includes a datasheet describing Freescale's Xtrinsic Sensor Fusion capabilities, a user's guide that will show you how to get up and running, and a zip file containing a CodeWarrior project.  The evaluation version runs only on the KL25Z board. Everything in the project, with the exception of one .c file, is precompiled.  Filename user_tasks.c is reserved for your use, and allows you to insert code at 5 specific entry points in the project.  You have visibility to all fusion outputs, and can modify the Bluetooth output stream to suite your own needs.  This is the same project used to create the executables mentioned earlier.  The evaluation version is fully compatible with the Xtrinsic Sensor Fusion Toolbox.

The evaluation version of the kit is intended to give developers everything they need to evaluate the quality and scope of Freescale's sensor fusion libraries.  Once a decision is made to incorporate the library into a product, you will want to upgrade to the "product development" version of the library.  This version, which will soon be available from the same download page, provides many more bells and whistles with regard to fusion options and underlying project structure.  Differences in the three versions of the library are summarized below:



Demo Version

Evaluation Version

Development Version


Free click-through

Free click-through

Contact Freescale for Pricing

CPU selection






others upon request

Board customizable

No – FRDM_KL25Z & FRDM_K20D50M only

No - FRDM_KL25Z only


Sensor sample rate




Fusion rate




Frame of Reference




Algorithms Executing

accel only, accel + gyro, accel + mag, accel + mag + gyro


Sleep mode enabled between samples/calculations








Code flexibility

NONE – Executable only

customer code limited to 5 specific entry points

only Kalman and MagCal libraries are precompiled.  Everything else is supplied in source form, and can be modified.

Access to Processor Expert™ configuration




Collateral Materials


zip file containing the appropriate CodeWarrior project

user manual


The next table shows sensor fusion features versus sensor complement used for the application.  See the sensor fusion datasheet for additional restrictions/details.


Accel only

Accel + gyro

Accel + mag

Accel + mag + gyro

Filter Type


Indirect Kalman


Indirect Kalman

Roll / Pitch / Tilt in degrees





Yaw in degrees





Angular Rate in degrees/second

virtual 2 axis


virtual 3 axis


Compass heading (magnetic north) in degrees





quaternion and rotation vector





rotation matrix





linear acceleration separate from gravity





NED (North-East-Down Frame of Reference





ENU (Windows 8 variant) Frame of Reference





ENU (Android variant) Frame of Reference





Magnetic calibration included





Gyro offset calibration included





FRDM-KL25Z_MQXL board support





FRDM-K20D50M_MQXL board support





I will be teaching two different classes dealing with the Xtrinsic Sensor Fusion Library for Kinetis™ MCUs at the upcoming Freescale Technology Forum in Dallas.  The first will be a one-hour "lunch and learn" session (FTF-SDS-F0176) on Wednesday, April 9.  A three-hour hands on session (FTF-CON-F0178) is planned for Thursday afternoon.  This session was previously targeted specifically at our eCompass software (and may still be shown as such on the FTF agenda), and is being repurposed so that we can provide additional, in depth, training on the fusion library.  I hope to see you there!


Michael Stanley is a systems engineer at Freescale.

29632-foundation-FB 403x403c.pngOn May 30, 2013 Freescale announced that we would be creating the Freescale Foundation, a nonprofit organization aimed at supporting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education initiatives in grades K-12.  Since then, a lot has happened. The Freescale Foundation board was chosen and Freescale announced sponsorship of the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon with our fundraising proceeds going to the foundation, and we opened our doors for the first funding requests.

During our review process, numerous STEM education programs asked for our help, from large charities, school districts to small afterschool programs. In the first week alone, the Freescale Foundation was flooded with requests to support some incredible programs. This shows just how important organizations like the Freescale Foundation are. There are already numerous STEM education programs in our communities, but many are underfunded, understaffed and unsupported. In a world where technology is driving our success, we need to do more for students in these crucial fields. That is why the Freescale Foundation aims to work with educators, community leaders, policy-makers and nonprofits to help make the world a smarter place.

Last week, we were pleased to announce the Freescale Foundation’s first grant recipients. After a difficult decision-making process, the Freescale Foundation’s Board of Directors has carefully selected the applications that we believe will have the highest impact in inspiring young people and preparing them to pursue STEM careers. We also took special note of programs that reached out to students who might otherwise not have access to quality STEM education programs.

Please join me in congratulating:

I believe these organizations have the power to inspire kids to take on the hard problems and help bring a brighter future. It is through programs like these that students will meet the teachers, mentors and friends who will inspire them to become scientists, doctors and engineers. Because of these programs, students will go on to fix problems, invent technologies and cure diseases. They will disprove bad ideas, prove better ones, create jobs, make the world safer and help unveil the scientific mysteries of our world. I am proud to be part of the Freescale Foundation, and we are honored to support these initiatives.

Rick Morales is Director of Freescale Community Engagement & Inclusion and Executive Director of the Freescale Foundation

In my last post, Kinetis mini MCUs: Good things do come in small packages, I shared a couple of images to illustrate the size of our Kinetis mini MCUs. But even with the shot of the chip on the keyboard, it still might be difficult to fully grasp the true ‘miniature’ size of these devices. To better demonstrate just how small Kinetis mini MCUs really are, our team came up with some examples of how many chips would fit in a variety of everyday items.

GolfBall.jpgTake, for example, a standard size golf ball. We figure 19,000 Kinetis mini MCUs could fit inside of one golf ball. That’s a nice round number and a lot of chips!

You might wonder about the logic I used to come up with 19,000 chips. Did I hollow out a golf ball and start pouring MCU chips inside? No. I just did some simple math. I looked up the dimensions of a standard golf ball, took the detailed dimensions of Freescale’s Kinetis KL02 MCU and did some quick division. (Have a different idea for measuring? Comment with your ideas below.)

Our team expanded on the idea and we’re turning it into a contest that illustrates just how tiny the Kinetis mini MCUs are. We’re giving away a number of Freescale Freedom development platforms, and just by participating, you will be entered to win.

So, just #HowManyMinis can fit in that?

Start following our posts on Facebook and Twitter today through next week, and we’ll share a #HowManyMinis contest question like the one below. Answer it and you could win a Freescale Freedom development platform.


Simply tell us which object could hold the stated number of Kinetis mini MCUs. There will be eight Kinetis mini MCU posts and we encourage you to comment on the Facebook post or/and tweet your answer with the hashtag #HowManyMinis – on Twitter, and be sure to include @Freescale. You can follow all eight posts and comment in Facebook and tweet each time for a total of 16 shots at winning!  Here are the official rules.

To get you started, the answer to today’s contest question is the gallon of milk. Here’s how we came up with that answer:

First, we looked up the dimensions of a gallon of milk, took the detailed dimensions of Freescale’s Kinetis KL02 MCU at 1.994 mm x 1.94 mm x 0.563 mm and did some quick division. Need help converting different measurements include cubic millimeters?  I found a good converter online here.  Of course, a good calculator is helpful, too. 

Go on to Facebook and Twitter and try your luck. Guess #HowManyMinis. Plus, we’re making it easy to win … even if your math is different than ours, we’ll still enter you in the drawing regardless if your answer matches our answer..

Good luck!

Kathleen Jachimiak is a Freescale product manager for Kinetis mini MCUs.

After a few years of absence, it’s great to see the Austin Marathon returning to Freescale. We helped found the race back in 1991 and produced it until 2006. A lot has happened between now and then, but it’s also easy to see how much has stayed the same.

Let’s admit, the 90s were a strange time. People parted their hair down the middle, boy bands roamed the earth, and the internet made strange noises every time you went online. But as silly as it was, the world was changing rapidly. Technology was BOOMING, and nobody knew what would happen next. Remember the first cell phones and how quickly they shrunk into flip phones and then became smart phones?

As different as the world was, there is a lot happening in technology right now that reflects that time. In fact, it’s hard to think of something big in 1991 that doesn’t have a modern equivalent.


Don’t believe it? Take a look at a few big moments in 1991 and their current equivalents:

Tech got portable

Apple released their first laptop line. The PowerBook family, with an AIM alliance CPU designed in part by Motorola, dreamed that maybe one day technology could be something that moved with the customer, leaving the office and entering into daily life. In the early 90’s, we were awed by our ability to communicate with colleagues and customers around the world through our computers. Now we can email, text, and call, not just for business, but also for our social network, from a device that we can wear on our bodies. Freescale makes a range of controllers that are the brains behind wearable devices such as smart watches and activity trackers. The use of wearable devices for managing health and wellness is on an exponential growth curve right now, because the technology enables it. Through integration and smart architectures, we can now get to small enough form factors at lower power while improving the performance and capabilities, which in turn enhance the user’s experience. Freescale recently announced a jointly-developed wearable reference platform (WaRP) to prove this exact point. On a personal note, I’ve used a Garmin GPS fitness watch for the last 5 years to take me from barely being able to run 1 mile to running a full marathon. (See My Personal Marathon blog from Summer of 2013!)

31083_GARMIN620220_513X480.jpgThe gaming industry grew more competitive

The Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo went head-to-head in one of the first major console wars. With a Motorola 68000 CPU in the Genesis, we were right there, pushing the dream that maybe entertainment could be an interactive experience. Today the Xbox One and the PS4 usher in the next chapter of console wars. Through technology advances, gaming systems can now  operate by gestures or voice commands, provide realistic experiences through advanced graphics, and allow us to play against friends, family and others around the world real-time. Gaming has truly grown from a niche market into a massive global industry.

The world became connected

1991 was also the year where the World Wide Web reached the public. This wild, impractical idea became a reality when CERN labs posted the first public webpage in history. After that, the world would never be the same. The World Wide Web has changed everything we do from the way we work to the way we connect with our friends and family. Today, experts foresee another revolution, where every object in the world is connected and communicating. It’s called the Internet of Things, and it’s kind of a big deal for Freescale, since we are leading the movement. If things go as planned, it’s going to make the changes we saw in the 1990s look tame. IoT has been discussed for many years, but the technology to turn this vision into a reality is now becoming available – the right connectivity at the right size and power with the right performance.


So, what comes next?

There is always something new, something on the tip of everyone’s tongue that requires a whole bunch of smart people  and the right technology to become a reality. That’s why the Austin Marathon is returning just in time. We’ll be leveraging our sponsorship to support the Freescale Foundation this year, which supports STEM education in grades K-12. With all the great things that have happened in these past years, just imagine what these kids could do with a little bit of support. My guess is by the time they’re done with us, we’ll look way sillier than 1991 does now. Personally, I’m excited about running the Austin Marathon for the first time with the newest Garmin Forerunner 620, powered by Freescale technology. I’ve been at Motorola/Freescale for 20 years, but never even thought about doing the marathon back in my younger years. I truly believe that technology  gave  me the motivation and tools to become a true runner!

Sujata Neidig is consumer business development manager for the Freescale microcontrollers division.

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