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Silicon Labs (NASDAQ: SLAB), a leader in high-performance, analog-intensive, mixed-signal ICs, today introduced the industry’s most energy-friendly 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) based on the ARM® Cortex®-M0+ processor. The EFM32™ Zero Gecko MCU family is designed to achieve the lowest system energy consumption for a wide range of battery-powered applications such as mobile health and fitness products, smart watches, activity trackers, smart meters, security systems and wireless sensor nodes, as well as battery-less systems powered by harvested energy. The new Zero Gecko family is the latest addition to the EFM32 Gecko portfolio pioneered by Energy Micro. The family includes 16 cost-effective MCU products designed from the ground up to enable the lowest possible energy consumption for connected devices enabling the Internet of Things (IoT).
The EFM32 Zero Gecko MCUs feature the industry’s most sophisticated energy management system with five energy modes that enable applications to remain in an energy-optimal state, spending as little time as possible in the energy-hungry active mode. In deep-sleep mode, Zero Gecko MCUs have an industry-leading 0.9 μA standby current consumption with a 32.768 kHz RTC, RAM/CPU state retention, brown-out detector and power-on-reset circuitry active. Active-mode power consumption scales down to 110 µA/MHz at 24 MHz with real-world code (prime number search algorithm) executed from flash. Current consumption is less than 20 nA in shut-off mode. The EFM32 MCUs further reduce power consumption with a 2-microsecond wakeup time from standby mode.
Like all EFM32 Gecko products, the Zero Gecko MCUs include a best-in-class energy-saving feature called the Peripheral Reflex System (PRS) that significantly enhances system-level energy efficiency. The PRS monitors complex system-level events and allows different MCU peripherals to communicate directly with each other and autonomously without involving the CPU. Leveraging the PRS, an EFM32 MCU can watch for a series of specific events to occur before waking the CPU, thereby keeping the Cortex-M0+ processor core in an energy-saving standby mode as long as possible and reducing overall system power consumption.