Freescale KEA Series 32-bit MCU - Review

Table of contents

RoadTest: Freescale KEA Series 32-bit MCU

Author: b4ux1t3

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Independent Products

Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True

What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?:

What were the biggest problems encountered?: The proprietary software required to program the device was difficult to understand and use.

Detailed Review:

This is late. I know it is late. I am sorry. And this is not the full write-up, as that isn't ready yet.

 

But I needed to get something down before I forget.

 

My biggest complaint with this product is actually the IDE required to program it. Firstly, I had trouble originally finding the proper software. I was unable to use the CD as I gave up optical drives a long time ago. The site wasn't straightforward. Secondly, I didn't find the software, once installed, to be particularly intuitive. That might be because I'm coming from the newbie-friendly environments I have worked with in the past.

 

Now all that said, once I figured everything out, this MCU is a dream to work with. Once I got some female headers soldered in, prototyping circuits and code is as easy as with any Arduino. Eventually I took off the female headers and soldered up a simple automobile monitoring system. The short version is this: The MCU has performed perfectly under the hood of my car. It's been in there for five weeks now, dealing with heat and sub-freezing temperatures, and, so far as I can tell, it hasn't even stuttered.

 

I have it sending readings to a Raspberry Pi in the cabin every five seconds, and there haven't been any interruptions in the stream of data at all. Again, I'll go into specifics soon.

 

My final verdict, though, is that this is some seriously excellent hardware with some lackluster programming software. If you're looking for a beefy MCU that can take the heat, Freescale has your back.

Anonymous
  • One of the things you'll see when I get the full write-up on here will be the massive amount of time I spent TaEing my way through. (trial and error) That's actually the biggest reason my review is so late. It's kind of hard for me to explain. Basically, the broad category of "thing I need the MCU to do" was easy. The individual steps of that thing were the hard part for me. Blah, it's late, and I probably don't make a lot of sense right now.

  • Nice commenting I thought I would let you know Freescale I believe is moving away from Codewarrior at some point in the near future for a different IDE. I do not recall the new IDE's name of the top of my head but if you want I can try find it for you.

     

    Also I'm glad you're having an easy time with this, I'm working with the KEA-64 and I'm not having as an easy a time as you seem to mention, but its good to hear someone else can get through a kinetis device with little issue.

     

    Kas