NXP All-Purpose MCX A Microcontroller and FRDM Development Boards Are Now Available!

MCX A targets general-purpose applications with a Cortex-M33, ultra-low power consumption, and up to 57 GPIOs — some 5V tolerant!

James Lewis
5 months ago

NXP has announced the availability of its latest microcontroller (MCU) family, the MCX A. These scalable general-purpose MCUs target a wide range of applications thanks to their intelligent peripherals, flexible IO interfaces, and ultra-low power consumption.

NXP first debuted the four members of the MCX family in June 2022. These new chips merge NXP's former LPC and Kinetis families. Their focus is intelligent, connected edge, and industrial applications. They offer more memory, expanded connectivity, and lower power consumption than the previous families while allowing a path to port existing code.

The MCX A is a single-core chip running either 48 MHz (A142/3) or 96 MHz (A152/3) with up to 128 kilobytes of Flash memory and up to 32 kilobytes of RAM. It features a capacitor-less LDO power architecture combined with what NXP says is industry-leading power consumption. The chips are available in a QFN-32, QFN-48, or LQFP-64 package with up to 57, depending on the package.

GPIO on the MCX A covers low-speed standards like I2C, SPI, and UART. It also features the newer I3C specification and has an on-chip physical layer interface (PHY) for USB Full Speed (FS.) Up to eight pins can provide a 20 milliamp current drive, and some IOs are 5V tolerant.

FRDM Development Board

NXP also announced that MCX A is available on their FRDM Development Platform. The FRDM-MCXA153 comes with a top-of-the-line MCX A153 microcontroller. These affordable boards (approximately 15 USD) support four expansion header types: Arduino Uno shield, mkroBUS, PMOD, and NXP's FRDM header. The NXP Expansion Board Hub is a database of boards compatible with the FDRM form factor (and others.)

NXP provides software development support through the MCXUpresso SDK. For example, you can program them using MCUXpresso for VSCode, which supports Zephyr-based applications. The NXP Application Code Hub is a good starting point for code examples.

NXP's Application Hub also has examples for an FRDM-MCXN947 board and a product page. Compared to the MCX A, the MCX N is a dual-core processor with enhanced security and faster IO interfaces. Interestingly, NXP has not made any new announcements regarding the MCX N family yet.

The MCX A microcontrollers and the FRDM-MCXA153 are available today from electronic components distributors, including Avnet. Check out the NXP MCX A announcement and the MCX A product page for more information.

Update:A mistake regarding the GPIO count has been corrected.

James Lewis
Electronics enthusiast, Bald Engineer, and freelance content creator. AddOhms on YouTube. KN6FGY.
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