NXP Semiconductors announced the MCX A14x and MCX A15x, the first families in the All-purpose A Series of the MCX portfolio, which are available now. Designed to allow engineers to do more, the new MCX A series is a low cost, easy to use, small- footprint MCU optimized with the essential features, innovative power architecture, and software compatibility required by many embedded applications, including industrial sensors, motor control, battery or handheld power system controllers, IoT devices and more.
The MCX portfolio, including the MCX A series, is supported by the MCUXpresso Developer Experience, with the newest iteration of the FRDM development platform. The enhanced FRDM boards accelerate prototyping, as well as rapid porting and bring up of custom hardware. Consistent tool suites across IDE choices, plus support for FreeRTOS and Zephyr, ensure scalability and portability across both MCX A and other NXP MCU platforms. This makes it easier to quickly create new products or target new use cases on a common development platform with consistent user experience.
As intelligent devices continue to proliferate across the edge, engineers are increasingly seeking new, cost-effective ways to add essential innovation to their designs. The MCX A series is designed to make it easy for engineers to do just that, with low cost, small-footprint MCUs with autonomous, low-power peripherals that enable differentiated edge solutions that pioneer a smarter, more connected world.
“The MCX A series is an important milestone on our ongoing journey to make the newest innovations accessible to every engineer, allowing them to do more with MCX,” said Mr. Charles Dachs, Senior Vice President and General Manager, IoT and Industrial, NXP. “The MCX portfolio serves as the foundation for the future of power-efficient edge devices, expediting the deployment of disruptive technology across the industrial and IoT markets. The MCX A devices build on that foundation, distilling integration into essential features, encouraging engineers to design without bounds.”
Developers Can Do More with MCX A MCUs
The MCX A series features an Arm® Cortex®-M33 core, with the MCX A14x running up to 48 MHz and the MCX A15x running up to 96 MHz. The devices also feature support for low-power peripheral sets, BLDC/PMSM motor control, and integrated sensor interfaces (MIPI-I3C, I2C, SPI). The MCX A series will offer a wide variety of package and memory variants up to 1MB flash, as the platform extends throughout 2024.
Each MCX A device includes a selection of smart peripherals able to act autonomously, independent of the CPU, allowing the CPU to run at a lower frequency and reduce power consumption. The intelligent peripherals include serial comms with built-in buffers, programmable data collection range and DMA; mixed signals ADC; DAC; operational amp with built-in intelligence for averaging and peak detection; and FlexPWM with dead time control and encoder for motor applications. The innovative power architecture is designed to support high utilization of I/Os and power efficiency with a simple supply circuit in a smaller footprint. Designed to support more GPIO pins for additional external connections, the MCX A allows designers to utilize a smaller package, simpler board design and lower system BOM costs.
Flexible and Rapid Prototyping with FRDM Development Boards
The MCX A series, as well as the larger MCX portfolio, is accompanied by NXP’s FRDM development boards, a low-cost, scalable hardware platform supported by the MCUXpresso Developer Experience. Designed to promote creative freedom while developing for a variety of end applications, these compact boards enable flexible and rapid prototyping, with industry-standard headers providing easy access to the MCU’s I/Os. With the on-board MCU-Link debug probe and USB-C cable included, engineers can develop, debug and program with ease.
Developers can use NXP’s Expansion Board Hub, to find add-on boards from NXP and its broad partner ecosystem, with related MCUXpresso SDK-compatible drivers and examples. These add-on boards, also known as shields, come with standard, pre-populated headers to easily connect to the FRDM boards. Developers can quickly create solutions leveraging audio, connectivity, motor control, machine learning, graphics, touch, voice, sensing and more. The new Application Code Hub enables engineers to easily find MCU software examples, code snippets and application software packs developed by NXP’s in-house experts.
Comprehensive Software Enablement
The FRDM boards and MCX portfolio are supported by the widely adopted MCUXpresso ecosystem of software and tools to provide an optimal Developer Experience. Developers can choose to work with either MCUXpresso for Visual Studio Code or Eclipse-based MCUXpresso IDE from NXP, or with IDEs from IAR and Keil that also offer safety certification. NXP provides drivers and middleware with examples ready to work out of the box for all these IDE choices, along with additional tools for device configuration, security and specialist applications. These software and tools offerings are further complemented by a range of compatible middleware and tools from NXP’s partner ecosystem.