April 18, 2013
The Internet of Things is coming, but chips need to be more efficient, powerful—and even smaller than they are now. In all categories, Freescale Semiconductor  is making waves. And their most recent contribution, the Kinetis KL02 , is one of the smallest microcontrollers in the world.
Microcontrollers  are computers, complete with processor, hard disk, RAM, and communication and analog connections. The KL02 has 32 KB of flash storage and 4 KB of RAM. 1976’s Apple II came stock  with 4 KB of RAM. At 1.9 mm by 2.0 mm, 56 KL02 microcontrollers would fit on just one of the keys I’m using to type this article. That’s 25% smaller than the next best competitor, according to Freescale.
Freescale’s press release makes no bones about it—this tiny chip was designed with the Internet of Things (IoT) in mind, “Space-constrained applications that previously couldn’t incorporate an MCU now can be upgraded to become smart applications, adding a new tier of devices to the IoT ecosystem.”
KL02 and other miniature chips like it will invisibly enliven virtually everything we interact with on a daily basis. Richard York of Embedded Processor Products says the Internet of Things ecosystem could “range from tiny sensors helping to monitor crops and deliver irrigation, to microcontrollers that enable entire buildings to be more energy efficient.”