NXP has announced the launch of its new MCX general-purpose Arm Cortex-M MCU family, designed specifically for advanced industrial and IoT edge computing. The NXP neural processing unit (NPU) can deliver over 30 times higher machine learning (ML) performance than running the AI inference tasks on an Arm Cortex-M33 core.
The new MCX portfolio is built upon the previous NXP LPC and Kinetis microcontroller families and thus does not replace them. The portfolio aims to enhance performance and security for numerous applications, including machine learning, voice, wireless, analog, motor control, and more.
The new MCX general-purpose Arm Cortex-M MCU family will be available in four series:
- MCX N Advanced series is designed for secure and ingenious applications. With a frequency of 150 MHz to 250 MHz, it has DSP, a Neural processing unit (NPU) for real-time inference, and an EdgeLock Secure Subsystem.
- MCX A Essential series is optimized to deliver critical functionality for applications like motor control with a frequency of 48 MHz to 96 MHz. Besides being optimized for cost-constrained applications, it has built-in timers, a single-pin power supply, and a low pin count.
- MCX W Wireless series has an MCU with low-power narrow band connectivity, Bluetooth Low Energy, and a frequency of 32 to 150 MHz. It possesses on-chip integration to reduce BOM costs.
- MCX L Ultra-Low Power series is designed for power-critical applications. It has a frequency of 50 to 100 MHz with an optional 50% boost. It possesses the lowest active power and leakage of the MCX family.
The MCX MCU will be supported by the MCUXpresso software and tools similar to the Kinetis and LPC MCUs. The eIQ ML SW development environment will also help it for AI inference on the MCX N Advanced series with an NPU and other MCX microcontrollers using the Cortex-M core.
Detailed specifications and documentation are not provided by NXP yet. NXP will showcase the MCX W series next week at the Embedded World 2022.
The company has emphasized that the MCX portfolio is not replacing Kinetis and LPC portfolios. MCX is a new NXP portfolio that was purpose-built based on NXP’s expertise in microcontrollers. The company added that Kinetis and LPC portfolios have been experiencing high demand and are still industry-relevant devices.