NXP’s New MCX N Microcontrollers Usher in New Era of Smart, Efficient Edge Processing

by donpedro

What’s new: NXP® Semiconductors has announced the MCX N94x and MCX N54x, the first families in
the N series of the new MCX microcontroller portfolio. Designed to simplify design for secure intelligent
edge applications, including IoT and industrial applications, the MCX N features the first instantiation of
NXP’s proprietary Neural Processing Unit (NPU) and an integrated EdgeLock® secure subsystem. The
MCX N series’ multicore design delivers improved system performance and reduced power
consumption by enabling smart, efficient distribution of workloads to the analog and digital peripherals.
Why it matters: To convert edge data into edge intelligence, developers require increased processing,
while minimizing the power budget to maintain an energy-efficient design. With a broad set of analog
and digital peripherals to choose from, the MCX N94x and MCX N54x families provide the design
flexibility and high-performance capabilities engineers need to create innovative designs, while
maintaining the low power necessary for advanced edge processing.
More details: “Developers are increasingly looking to push the boundaries of what’s possible at the
edge as they create new devices that can better anticipate and automate in smart homes, smart
factories and smart cities. This requires advanced MCUs that are more efficient, simplify edge
intelligence and do all of that securely,” said Rafael Sotomayor, Executive Vice President and General
Manager of Edge Processing and Connectivity & Security, NXP. “As we look to the future of MCUs, the
MCX N series delivers the balance between power and performance for tomorrow’s IoT and industrial

The MCX N series dual-core system pairs a full-featured Arm® Cortex®-M33 core with a streamlined
Cortex-M33 to manage control functions, enabling developers to run applications in parallel or reduce
power consumption by turning off individual cores as necessary. For example, in secure IoT
applications such as over-the-air (OTA) communications, the main core performs the system security,
while the streamlined core executes control functionality.

The MCX N94x and MCX N54x are based on dual high-performance Arm® Cortex®-M33 cores running
up to 150 MHz, with 2MB of Flash with optional full ECC RAM, a DSP co-processor for audio and voice
processing and integrated NPU. The integrated NPU delivers up to 30x faster machine learning
throughput compared to a CPU core alone, as well as multiple co-processors and accelerators,
enabling it to spend less time awake and reducing overall power consumption. In addition, NXP’s eIQ®
machine learning software development environment provides easy-to-use tools to train and support
machine learning models using the integrated NPU.

The MCX N series of devices also include a full set of peripherals. The MCX N94x features a wide
variety of advanced analog and motor control peripherals, while the MCX N54x includes peripherals
ranging from high speed USB with PHY to SD or smart card interfaces suitable for IoT and consumer

The new devices are built following NXP’s secure-by-design approach, offering secure boot with an
immutable root-of-trust, hardware accelerated cryptography and a built-in EdgeLock® secure
subsystem. This architecture provides support for in-field updates, online transactions, and protection
against over-production at remote original design manufacturers (ODMs).

Simplifying Development with Software and Tools

The MCX N devices are supported by the widely adopted MCUXpresso suite of software and tools to
optimize, ease and help accelerate embedded system development. The MCUXpresso suite includes
tools for simple device configuration and secure programming. Developers can choose to work with the
fully featured MCUXpresso IDE or with IDEs from IAR and Keil. NXP provides drivers and middleware
with extensive examples and support for a range of RTOS choices, further complemented by a wide
range of compatible middleware from NXP’s partner ecosystem, allowing rapid development of a broad
range of end applications.


The MCX N series is expected to begin sampling in Q1 2023.
For more information, visit NXP.com/MCXN

NXP Semiconductors

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