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Freescale KEA Series 32-bit MCU - Review

Scoring

Product Performed to Expectations: 9
Specifications were sufficient to design with: 10
Demo Software was of good quality: 5
Product was easy to use: 9
Support materials were available: 8
The price to performance ratio was good: 10
TotalScore: 51 / 60
  • RoadTest: Freescale KEA Series 32-bit MCU
  • Buy Now
  • Evaluation Type: Independent Products
  • Was everything in the box required?: Yes
  • 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.


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