Silicon Labs (NASDAQ: SLAB), a leader in high-performance, analog-intensive, mixed-signal ICs, today announced that Misfit Wearables, a designer and manufacturer of wearable computing products, has chosen Silicon Labs’ EFM32™ Leopard Gecko 32-bit microcontroller (MCU) as the energy-friendly controller for the Misfit Shine™, the world’s most elegant physical activity monitor. The Gecko MCU communicates with the Shine’s 3-axis accelerometer, drives user interface LEDs and hosts a Wicentric Bluetooth® low-energy software stack, enabling connectivity with the Shine App running on Apple iOS devices such as iPhones and iPads – all with the utmost energy efficiency.
The Misfit Shine is tapping into today’s burgeoning market for wearable computing devices. According to IMS Research (a part of IHS Electronic Media), sports and fitness monitors, running and cycling computers, and other physical activity trackers will reach 56.2 million unit shipments globally in 2017, up from 43.8 million units in 2013. IMS predicts that a total of 252 million units will ship over the next five years. In a related survey conducted by IMS last year, 62.3 percent of smartphone owners who exercise regularly expressed an interest in mobile health and fitness apps and fitness sensors such as the Misfit Shine that connect to smartphone apps.
Like all portable, battery-powered devices, the Shine wearable activity monitor requires extreme energy efficiency to maximize battery life. Instead of using a rechargeable battery, the Shine runs on a single, user-replaceable CR2032 lithium-ion watch battery for four months. Instead of having to recharge the device every few days, the end user simply wears the Shine and monitors his or her fitness activity daily without interruption until it is time to replace the battery.
The Misfit design team chose the Leopard Gecko MCU because it provides industry-leading energy efficiency across all energy modes, enabling exceptionally long battery life coupled with optimal processing performance and a high level of integration in a small-footprint package. The Leopard Gecko MCU’s low-energy sensor interface (LESENSE) and peripheral reflex system (PRS) were especially attractive features for Misfit’s ultra-low energy budget. The LESENSE interface autonomously collects and processes sensor data even when the MCU is in deep-sleep mode, enabling the MCU to remain in a low-energy mode for a long time while tracking sensor status and events. The PRS monitors complex system-level events and allows different MCU peripherals to communicate autonomously while keeping the CPU in an energy-saving sleep mode as long as possible to reduce overall system power consumption.