NXP FRDM Board Design Contest

Hello world!

NXP and DigiKey teamed up to announce a contest involving NXP’s Freedom (FRDM) Boards. The contest was officially announced at embedded world and engineers and enthusiasts are welcome to participate.

FRDM-MCXA153 - FRDM Development board for MCX A14x/A15x MCUs
FRDM-MCXN947 - FRDM Development Board for MCX N94/N54 MCUs
Each dev board includes the board, a USB-C cable, and a Getting Started Guide.

Info around the contest:

  • Contest opens April 8, 2024
  • Design ideas due May 20, 2024 through AllAboutCircuits
  • Final Projects due July 31, 2024
  • Winners selected August 15, 2024

Prizes include free boards, a $750 gift card, e-Bike and an Apple package (MacBook Pro, Apple Watch, and Airpods Pro).

Technical Info

Let’s talk tech about commonalities and differences between NXP’s MCX A and N series.

  • The N series is great for multi-tasking while the A series is more all-purpose to address a wide range of applications.
  • AllAboutCircuits has a great comparison chart, but in a nutshell it comes down to differences as outlined below:
Cost About $25 USD About $15 USD
Microcontroller MCX-N947 Dual Arm™ Cortex™ -M33 cores @150MHz each with optimized performance efficiency, Up to 2MB dual-bank flash with optional full ECC RAM, External flash MCXA15x Arm® Cortex®-M33 core
Up to 128KB flash with up to 32 kB RAM with 8kB ECC, LPLUART, LPSPI, LPI2C, FS USB, DMA and LDO
Accelerators Neural Processing Unit, PowerQuad, Smart DMA, etc.
Memory Expansion DNP Micro SD card socket
Connectivity Ethernet Phy and connector
HS USB Type-C connectors
SPI/I2C/UART connector (PMOD/mikroBUS, DNP)
WIFI connector (PMOD/mikroBUS, DNP)
CAN-FD transceiver
FS USB ports with USB Type-C connector for host or device functionality
HS USB Type-C connectors (On-board MCU-Link debugger)
SPI/I2C/UART connector (Arduino, PMOD/mikroBUS, DNP)
Wi-Fi connector (Arduino, PMOD/mikroBUS, DNP)
Debug On-board MCU-Link debugger with CMSIS-DAP
JTAG/SWD connector
On-board MCU-Link debugger with CMSIS-DAP
JTAG/SWD connector
Sensor P3T1755 I3C/I2C Temp Sensor, Touch Pad P3T1755DPJ I3C/I2C temp sensor
Expansion Options Arduino® Header (with FRDM expansion rows)
FRDM Header
FlexIO/LCD Header
SmartDMA/Camera Header
Pmod™ *DNP
Arduino® Header
FRDM Header
Pmod™ *DNP

Side by side comparison:

Watch DigiKey unbox the FRDM dev board:

DigiKey Unboxing the FRDM boards Video

Helpful links:

NXP Application Code Hub
DigiKey’s NXP Page

MCX N Series:
MCX N Series Product Highlight
NXP’s page for MCX N FDRM Dev Boards
FRDM-MCXN946 Quick Start Guide

MCX A Series:
MCX A Series Product Highlight
NXP’s page for MCX A FDRM Dev Boards
FRDM-MCXA153 Quick Start Guide
FRDM-MCXA153 User Manual

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