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ARM Cortex-based MCUs target ultra-low-power IoT apps

Posted: 30 Nov 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Cypress Semiconductor  IoT  MCU  wearable  ARM Cortex 

Cypress Semiconductor Corp. has announced a couple of device line-ups in its FM0+ portfolio of flexible MCUs based on the ARM Cortex-M0+ core. The FM0+ S6E1B-series and S6E1C-series feature Cortex-M3/M4-class peripherals at a low, 40µA/MHz active current consumption budget, promising what the company describes as a remarkable combination of performance, efficiency and integrated peripherals for Cortex-M0+-based MCUs.

The S6E1B-series features a large memory size for a Cortex-M0+ device and supports highly reliable and secure machine-to-machine (M2M) communication for the Internet of Things (IoT), while the S6E1C-series is optimised for wearables and a range of ultra-low-power, battery-powered products.

The processing and flash architecture of Cypress FM0+ MCUs is optimised for high-efficiency, enabling the family to achieve an industry-best 35µA/CoreMark score. CoreMark, which was developed by the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium (EEMBC), benchmarks the performance of a processor core and its memory subsystem and enables quick comparisons between processors. The FM0+ MCUs offer a memory and I/O footprint typically featured only in higher-end MCUs with Cortex-M3 or Cortex-M4 cores, with up to 560KB of flash, 64KB SRAM and 102 GPIOs for the S6E1B-series. With their fast wake-up from standby modes, the FM0+ MCUs optimise power savings by remaining in low-power states for longer durations before quickly switching back to active modes. The FM0+ portfolio features notable peripheral integration that includes communication interfaces with AES hardware encryption, a rich set of digital and analogue peripherals and a high-accuracy internal crystal oscillator to enable crystal-less communication and reduced BOM cost, all in small QFN and QFP packages sampling today, and an even smaller, 6.4mm2 wafer-level chip scale package (WLCSP) available in 1Q16, detailed Cypress.

According to the company, the Cypress FM0+ MCU portfolio delivers leading performance with: a unique, 64-channel descriptor-based direct memory access (DMA) controller to efficiently move data between peripherals and RAM without any CPU intervention; up to 6-channel multi-function serial interfaces (UART/I2C/SPI), a 1-channel USB host or device, AES encryption, a 2-channel HDMI-CEC, a 2-channel Smart Card interface and I2S for digital audio; and analogue peripherals including an 8-channel, 1Msps, 12bit SAR ADC, a one per cent high-precision crystal oscillator and an LCD controller with voltage boost.

The Cypress FM0+ S6E1B-series and S6E1C-series MCUs are sampling, with production expected in 4Q15.

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