Freescale Runs Thread and Bluetooth Smart from a Single Wireless MCU

October 20 2015, 03:10

Freescale Semiconductor introduced 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. With Bluetooth v4.2 support, the Kinetis KW41Z MCU helps transform simple devices into advanced connected systems.

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,” says 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
Freescale created several wireless IoT reference demo applications, 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 presented 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

Early access program sampling for the Kinetis KW41Z is planned for Q2 2016, with general availability expected in Q3 2016.
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