Gecko microcontroller family with Cortex-M0

Embedded World 2011 – Energy Micro is to extend the reach of its ultra low power EFM32 Gecko microcontroller family with the introduction of an ARM Cortex-M0 based product line and has improved the low power performance of its forthcoming Cortex-M3 based Tiny Gecko devices. The new introductions will boost the company’s Energy Friendly Microcontroller portfolio to more than 100 products.

To be named “Zero Gecko”, the M0 based microcontroller line of 20 new products will provide Energy Micro’s lowest cost energy friendly microcontroller solution. Pin and software compatible with the companion M3 based products, Zero will also achieve the same four times improvement in energy consumption when compared to alternative M0 based microcontrollers.

Picture: Energy Micro

Energy Micro is currently working with lead customers on product specification refinement and plans to make Zero Gecko available to customers during Q4’2011 at an entry level price of $0.6 each in 100k quantities. It will target battery-backed applications in sectors such as energy metering, building automation, security and portable medical equipment.

Scheduled to enter volume production during Q2’2011, the bigger M3 based Tiny Gecko microcontroller product line now being sampled by customers is achieving a current consumption performance of 160µA per MHz. This improves on the previously announced figure, and is due to enhancements in energy aware design techniques and chip architecture.

In volume production since 2009, Energy Micro’s first product line, the EFM32 Gecko microcontroller has proven capable of consuming a quarter of the battery energy required by alternative 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit microcontrollers. The complete Gecko family is characterised by very low active and standby power consumption, fast processing and wake-up time and highly flexible low energy modes. It provides an array of low power peripheral functions able to be operated autonomously and is the first to support energy debugging, through its unique Advanced Energy Monitoring system and Simplicity Studio toolset. Detailed datasheets have also just been released by Energy Micro for the higher-memory Giant Gecko microcontroller product line, now scheduled to enter volume production in Q3’2011.

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