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NXP unveils new all-purpose microcontroller series and development platform

Categories Edge Computing News  |  Hardware
NXP unveils new all-purpose microcontroller series and development platform

NXP recently introduced the MCX A14x and A15x series, all-purpose microcontrollers, as part of the MCX portfolio. These microcontrollers share a common Arm Cortex-M33 core platform and aim to provide the next generation of intelligent edge computing devices by combining the best features of popular NXP devices with new innovative elements.

The MCX A Series, a part of the MCX portfolio, offers scalable solutions for various applications in multiple markets. NXP says the series is the go-to choice for all-purpose devices, from industrial communications to smart metering, automation, control, sensors and low-power devices.

The MCX A14x operates at 48 MHz, while the MCX A15x operates at 96 MHz. Migration and upgrades are simplified with multiple device package options and IO compatibility.

Additionally, standard peripherals streamline software development, the company says. Some pins can also handle high current drive and a select few are 5V tolerant. NXP also notes that it provides MIPI I3C support across various MCUs, from general-purpose to high-end applications processors like i.MX RT crossover MCUs.

The MCX A device includes a full-speed USB controller with onboard PHY, allowing connectivity to PCs and smart devices. It also offers in-system programming (ISP) via the boot ROM. The company notes that the MCX A boot ROM offers ISP functionality and a fallback programming option to resolve firmware update failures and eliminate concerns about FLASH memory contents.

NXP asserts that the ISP functions are available over UART, I2C, and SPI interfaces, making use of boot ROM functions easy via our MCUXpresso SEC tool. Users can develop production programming and field update workflows using a graphical interface.

The company’s open-source Secure Provisioning SDK (SPSDK) allows advanced users to customize command-line operations further.

The Low-Power Cache Controller (LPCAC) is a compact and efficient 4KB cache controller that enhances the Arm Cortex-M33 code bus. It enables quick access to data and instructions, reducing latency and optimizing IO and processing performance. Additionally, it allows for repurposing the memory as instruction memory, ensuring tight timing and control loops.

A subsection of RAM on MCX A has ECC capability, which, when combined with the error reporting module (ERM), enhances reliability for applications that demand higher levels of dependability. The MCX A integrates a high-speed 4MSPS ADC and high-speed comparators with an 8-bit reference DAC. It also includes a motor control subsystem with the FlexPWM peripheral.

NCX says the MCX A is a versatile solution that combines connectivity, advanced analog peripherals and motor control subsystems. Use cases include BLDC motors, precision servo systems, and battery management systems.

NCX asserts that it allows developers to choose their preferred software development approach. MCX A revolves around the MCUXpresso Developer Experience, offering a  range of SDKs, IDEs and configuration tools. The MCX A SDK provides components including low-level peripheral drivers, configuration utilities and middleware like a USB device stack.

The company notes that MCX A is an adaptable platform that offers bare metal applications and support for real-time operating systems (RTOS).

MCX A USB Middleware Support simplifies USB development by providing examples for everyday use cases and a configuration tool for generating custom USB device code. With this tooling, developers can quickly build USB devices while managing initialization code and descriptors, the company says.

Further, SDKs can be fetched from MCUXpresso IDE or MCUXpresso for VS Code. Developers can also directly fetch releases from NXP’s GitHub repository. The MCX A series release also brings back the FRDM development platform with enhancements. It offers access to IO through Arduino-compatible pin headers and provides access to MCX A peripherals with extra rows of pins.

The company says that NXP’s Expansion Board Hub simplifies development with board and software examples. The MCX A FRDM shield template from the NXP MCX Community allows engineers to create custom shields for specific use cases.

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