Energy Micro 100 new low power Cortex-M3 EFM32 microcontrollers

September 28, 2011 // By Paul Buckley
Energy Micro has introduced a further 100 EFM32 Gecko energy friendly microcontrollers. Pin and code compatible with the existing Gecko and Tiny Gecko products, the new ARM Cortex-M3 based Leopard Gecko and Giant Gecko microcontrollers are available now and bring memory configurations up to 1 MB, more package choice and additional energy saving, connectivity and display driving options.

The Leopard Gecko product family is composed of 60 MCUs, providing 32 KB RAM as standard and Flash of either 64 KB, 128 KB and 256 KB. At the top end of the Energy Micro product portfolio, the 40 MCU Giant Gecko family provides Flash configurations of either 512 KB or 1024 KB with 128 KB of RAM.  An extended range of package options comprises QFN64, QFP100, BGA112 and new QFP64 and 7 mm x 7 mm small form factor BGA120 packages. The latest low power Geckos also take CPU operating speeds up to 48 MHz.

A new feature introduced by the Leopard Gecko and Giant Gecko product families is a 400nA back-up power mode, enabling the RTC to keep running and providing 512 back-up register bytes, thereby protecting against clock reset and data loss on a momentary power loss.  To help further reduce external component counts, the latest MCUs also integrate 3 on-chip operational amplifiers.

As well as Energy Micro’s low power 8x36 segment LCD controller, the latest MCUs also introduce the added option of a 320x240 dot direct drive TFT controller capable of driving display updates without CPU intervention, enabling further system power savings to be made in a wider variety of applications.

A USB 2.0 full speed connectivity option introduced on Leopard and Giant products supports host and OTG protocols and up to fourteen 2 KB buffered end points, while a built-in 3.3 V regulator also allows users to run the MCU from USB link power.  Additional communication options include 5 standard USART/UART serial interfaces and Energy Micro’s Low Energy UART, drawing only 150 nA at 9600 baud.

The LESENSE function block, previously integrated into Energy Micro’s Tiny Gecko family, is also included in the low power Leopard Gecko and Giant Gecko families.  A generic low energy sensor interface, LESENSE enables monitoring of a mix of up to 16 capacitive, inductive or resistive sensors independently of the