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Freescale now shipping sub 1 GHz wireless microcontroller using energy-efficient 32-bit processor core

Kinetis KW01 wireless MCU, built on ARM Cortex-M0+ processor, ideal for smart meter connectivity and sensor-control networks

AUSTIN, Texas – June 10, 2014 – Freescale Semiconductor is now shipping the Kinetis KW01 wireless microcontroller (MCU), expanding the popular Kinetis W series MCU line with a device ideally suited for wirelessly networked smart object applications. The Kinetis KW01 MCU features the first ARM Cortex M0+ based universal sub-GHz radio to reach mass production.

Several protocols are emerging globally for outdoor and indoor smart object networks that require robust communication and low power consumption. The Kinetis KW01 platform meets these requirements with a high-performance radio, capable of up to 600 Kbps using complex modulation schemes (GFSK, MSK, GMSK and OOK) while operating at multiple frequencies in the range of 290 to 1020 MHz; supporting ISM bands in Japan, USA, Europe, China, India, Brazil, Mexico and others. Additionally, the low-power onboard CPU system is used to handle numerous network protocols.

For outdoor applications, such as neighborhood area networks that connect many smart meters to a common data collection point, and metropolitan area networks that connect numerous street lamps or sensors, the KW0x wireless MCU can support proprietary protocols and the industry-standard IEEE® 802.15.4e/g protocol. Possible applications also include smart city networks (street lighting, parking meters, water meters, infrastructure integrity sensors) and building control. For indoor applications connecting wireless sensors, controls, displays, appliances and machinery, the KW01 wireless MCU can support proprietary protocols or standard protocols such as 6LoWPAN, WMBUS (EN13757-4), KNX and ECHONET.

With the ARM Cortex-M0+ at its core, the Kinetis KW01 MCU runs up to 48 MHz with 128 KB flash memory and 16 KB SRAM capable of consuming as little as 40 µA/MHz in typical conditions. The system and peripherals are designed to achieve 1.7 µA device standby current with a fast wake up time of just 4.3 microseconds, and a device stop current less than 100 nA, which includes radio configuration data retention. These features help maximize battery life in portable systems.

The Kinetis KW01 device may be used as a comprehensive modem running low-level wireless protocol layers while delegating the upper network protocol layers to run in an external host application processor. The Kinetis KW01 MCU can also operate without a host for simpler network protocols; taking advantage of its on-chip peripherals, such as the 16-bit analog-to-digital converter to implement a single-chip solution for wireless sensor networking applications.

Kinetis KW01 Wireless MCU Features 
Radio features

  • Benchmark +137 dB budget link for very long range capabilities
  • Variable +17dBm native power output
  • Supports 290-340 MHz, 424-510 MHz, and 862-1020 MHz frequency bands
  • Support of multiple modulation schemes (GFSK, MSK, GMSK and OOK)
  • Bi-directional over-the-air data rates from 1 Kbps to 600 Kbps
  • Ultra-low-power 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0+ CPU core
  • 40 µA/MHz device current during RUN mode
  • Less than 100 nA device current during STOP mode
  • Multiple, flexible low-power modes including new compute mode that reduces dynamic power by placing peripherals in an asynchronous stop mode
  • Memory and peripherals
  • 128 KB of on-chip, non-volatile flash memory and 16 KB of RAM for running various communication protocols, from fully proprietary (SMAC - simple media access controller) to globally standardized (IEEE 802.15.4)
  • 16-bit analog-to-digital converter
  • Touch sense interface
  • 12-bit DAC
  • Analog comparator
  • Timers & PWM
  • RTC

Development support

A comprehensive enablement package that helps simplify development is available and includes:

  • PC test tool for a comprehensive evaluation of radio performances and a fast configuration of the radio block
  • Out-of-the-box kit experience with development hardware and software
    • Modular reference boards for rapid prototyping
    • Simple MAC radio utility configuration tool
  • IAR IDE development support is also available from the extensive ARM ecosystem
  • MAC/PHY for IEEE 802.15.4g/e


Freescale’s Kinetis KW0x wireless MCUs are now available. For more information,

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