NXP’s MCX Family Addresses All IoT End-Device Development

By Rich Nass

Executive Vice President

Embedded Computing Design

June 14, 2022


NXP’s MCX Family Addresses All IoT End-Device Development

If you’re designing an IoT product, pretty much any IoT product, NXP has the processor for you.

The company is announcing a new family of MCUs, the MCX series. The family is broken down into four different lines, which is why they feel they are covering just about any end device, from consumer to industrial and everything in between. All four lines are designed around an Arm Cortex-M33 core.

The four lines are the:

  • high-performance N series: for secure, intelligent applications
  • cost-optimized and analog-focused A series: for applications such as motor control
  • low-power wireless connectivity W series: includes Bluetooth LE
  • ultra-low power L series: for power-critical, battery-powered applications

The family is built on a common platform, namely NXP’s popular MCUXpresso suite of development tools and software. The company feels, rightly so, that this will simplify and expedite product development. And the portfolio features an NXP-designed machine learning accelerator, a neural processing unit (NPU), to enable high-performance inferencing at the Edge of the IoT.

By having the four distinct lines, developers can move up or down the performance-value chain, as dictated by the end product’s requirements. And the unified software suite allows for maximum software reuse.

Machine learning and run-time inferencing is supported by NXP’s eIQ ML software development environment. Developers can use the tools to train machine-learning models targeting either the NPU or the CPU core and deploy them on the MCU.

Note that NXP put extra care in designing the MCX’s security features. The MCUs offer secure boot with an immutable root-of-trust, hardware accelerated cryptography and, on some devices, a built-in EdgeLock secure subsystem.

MCX devices feature up to 4 Mbytes of on-chip flash memory, low power cache, and advanced memory management controllers, in addition to up to 1 Mbyte of on-chip SRAM to further enhance real-time performance of Edge applications. Samples will be available in the second half of this year, with production commencing in the second half of 2023.

Richard Nass’ key responsibilities include setting the direction for all aspects of OSM’s ECD portfolio, including digital, print, and live events. Previously, Nass was the Brand Director for Design News. Prior, he led the content team for UBM’s Medical Devices Group, and all custom properties and events. Nass has been in the engineering OEM industry for more than 30 years. In prior stints, he led the Content Team at EE Times, Embedded.com, and TechOnLine. Nass holds a BSEE degree from NJIT.

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