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TI, Silicon Labs debut MCUs at Embedded World

Posted: 09 Mar 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Embedded World  microcontroller  EZ3R2 

At Embedded World, Silicon Labs and Texas Instruments (TI) introduced microcontrollers (MCUs) that have built-in wireless connectivity and are made for battery-powered and harvested-energy applications. The MCUs utilise a 32bit Cortex M processor core with integrated RF and offer versions suitable with a variety of standards. The companies announced that versions are available for sub-GHz, 6LoWPAN, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and ZigBee.

From Silicon Labs comes the EZR32 family which operates in sub-GHz frequency ranges for all geographic regions. The devices support IEEE 802.15.4/4g, Wireless M-Bus, Wi-SUN and a broad range of proprietary radio protocols, and are available with a variety of transceiver choices to accommodate an array of RF performance requirements.

The family also provides a choice in processing performance. The EZR32LG devices have a Cortex M3 processor while the EZR32WG devices have an M4 core with floating point and DSP capabilities. Both product families include up to 32KB of RAM, to 256KB of Flash, a variety of timer and counter peripherals, multiple serial interfaces (including USB), ADC, DAC and AES encryption acceleration. They also have a low-energy sensor interface that can stay active while a MCU is in sleep mode so that a device does not miss critical input changes while conserving battery power.

SimpleLink MCUs

TI, during its own announcement, presented new additions to its SimpleLink portfolio, a low power series that begins with the CC2640 for Bluetooth Smart, and the CC2630 for 6LoWPAN and ZigBee. There is also a multi-protocol version, the CC2650 for a range of 2.4GHz technologies including Bluetooth Smart, 6LoWPAN, ZigBee and RF4CE. The TI roadmap also includes plans for devices that support sub-GHz operation as well as a dedicated RF4CE.

A key feature of the new SimpleLink devices is their low power consumption. TI specifies an active current of less than 61µA/MHz and standby current of 1.1µA with full memory retention and the real-time clock (RTC) running. The radio's peak current is under 6.2mA. A sensor controller that can remain active while the MCU is sleeping requires only 8.2µA/MHz. The company estimates that designs based on these new devices could run for up to 10 years on a single coin cell or be run without batteries using energy harvesting.

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