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Nuvoton – Cortex-M4 Overview

Nuvoton - Cortex-M4 OverviewNuvoton has concentrated on the development of microcontrollers since the company was founded in 2008 (as a spin-off from Winbond Electronics). Starting with the 8051 MCUs, which had their roots in Winbond times (W77/W78), the Cortex-M architecture was already in use at Nuvoton from an early stage. Today, Nuvoton covers the entire performance spectrum with Cortex-M0, M23, M4 and M7 microcontrollers.

Which Cortex-M4 microcontrollers does Nuvoton have in its portfolio?

Nuvoton – Cortex-M4 Overview

Nuvoton offers both 5V and 3V devices. The flash memory sizes from 40kB to 2.5MB and clock rates from 72MHz to 200MHz cover a wide range. Nuvoton currently lists almost 150 different derivatives based on the Cortex-M4 core.

M4xx & KM1M4 Series

5V – Industrial Control (M45x) & Home Appliance (M471 & KM1M4)

With a clock rate of up to 72MHz and flash sizes of up to 256kB, the M45x devices represent the basis for industrial applications. PWM with up to 144MHz, 1Msps 12-bit DAC and ADC, USB2.0 Full Speed Device & Host as well as CAN 2.0B can be found here. All MCUs of this sub-family support an external Quad-SPI Flash.

5V - M4 NuvotonThe newer M471 family offers clock rates up to 120MHz, flash sizes up to 512kB, an extended operating temperature range from -40°C to +105°C as well as 16-bit PWM resolution, 12-bit ADC @1.8Msps. USB High-Speed Host & Device is available on the M/R1/S types. All M471s are supported by Nuvoton’s IEC60730-1 Class B Software Text Library (STL). With an ESD strength of 8kV (HBM) and 4.4kV (EFT) as well as wide pin pitch derivatives (0.8mm), Nuvoton supports the development of robust white goods and other household appliances.

KM1M4BF Series: The slightly different nomenclature will be noticed immediately. The background to these microcontrollers, which were specially developed for motor control applications, is their origin at NTCJ. NTCJ stands for Nuvoton Technologies Corporation Japan formerly the Panasonic Semiconductor Solutions division – the transition took place in 2020. Thanks to many years of experience in this domain, the microcontrollers, which run at up to 120MHz, feature e.g:

  • up to 4 comparators
  • 3 parallel ADC units up to 2Msps
  • one 10-bit DAC and six 8-bit DACs
  • 8 complex PWM units for motor control or power control

In addition, a variety of options for self-diagnostics & malfunction detection have been integrated (Flash-ECC, WDT, Clock Monitoring, A/D Fault Diagnostics, Power Supply Voltage Detect, IO-level Monitoring and more). The extended operating temperature range extends from -40°C to +110°C.

3V – M48x & M46x High-Performance Series

Nuvoton offers the two high-performance series M48x and M46x for the 3V voltage domain. The flash sizes start at 256kB and go up to 2.5MB. The main clock reaches 192MHz (M48x) or 200MHz (M46x). Both families can be differentiated by their connectivity:

3V M4 Nuvoton

  • Ethernet (10/100Mbit) / Crypto:
    • M467 (ETH/Crypto)
    • M485 (Crypto), M487 (ETH/Crypto)

  • CAN/ USB:
    • M463 (CAN FD/USB HS)
    • M482 (USB FS), M483 (CAN), M484 (USB HS)

As we only want to give you an overview here, a few highlights are mentioned below:

  • M460 Series: ICE60730-1 Class B STL available
  • M467: 4 analog comparators, 4x CAN-FD, 16-bit PWM and 3x 12-bit ADC @ 5Msps
  • M463: 2 analog comparators, 2x CAN-FD, 16-bit PWM and 1x 12-bit ADC @ 5Msps, new: 125°C top option
  • M481: 1x 12-bit ADC @ 5Msps + 1x 12-bit ADC @1Msps, dual 200MHz SDHC
  • M485: Crypto accelerator for ECC-571 (NIST P/B/K Curves), AES-256, SHA-512 & HMAC-512 in hardware

Audio Anwendungen – NUC505 & ISD941xx

In addition to microcontrollers, Nuvoton has been focusing on audio for many years. With reference to the Cortex-M4 product range, the NUC505 and the ISD941xx audio SoCs need to be mentioned here. Details on different products (not only Cortex-M4 based) can be found in our news series “Nuvoton Audio Solutions”:

Details on the ISD941xx can be found in part 5 of our news series. The NUC505 run with up to 100 MHz main clock, integrate 512kB/2MB Flash (int. SPI Flash) as well as a 24-bit audio codec:

  • Mono microphone or stereo line-in input
  • Stereo headphone output
  • Stereo / mono mode support
  • Sampling rates up to 96kHz

The ADC of the internal codec offers -80dB (THD+N) and DR / SNR of 90dB (A weighted). The DAC -60dB (THD+N) and DR / SNR 93dB (A weighted). However, the internal I2S controller can also be connected to an external audio codec if, for example, higher sampling rates are required. See part 3 of the series above for more information on Nuvoton’s audio codecs.


Nuvoton offers a very broad portfolio of Cortex-M4 based microcontrollers. This makes it possible for a wide variety of applications in the areas of

  • Industrial Control
  • Motor- & Power-Control
  • Household appliances & Smart Home
  • IoT applications

to select a suitable product. With the constant expansion of the MCU families, Nuvoton has proven its commitment to innovative microcontroller products.

Our team will be happy to advise you on further details about this wide range of possibilities as well as other system components such as wireless, power, timing and analog parts. Contact us directly or send us your inquiry here. We will get back to you as soon as possible

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