Cortex-M4 MCUs consume 66% Less Power - Embedded.com

Cortex-M4 MCUs consume 66% Less Power

Atmel Corporation has launched SAM4L family of ARM Cortex-M4 processor-based microcontrollers (MCUs) incorporating the company’s proprietary ultra-low power picoPower technology. Atmel claims the SAM4L family consumes just one-third the power of current solutions. The SAM4L family consumes down to 90µA/MHz in active mode. The new devices achieve up to 28 CoreMark/mA using IAR Embedded Workbench, version 6.40. In sleep mode, the SAM4L devices consume 1.5µA with full random access memory (RAM) retention, and 700nA in back-up mode.


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With wake-up times down to 1.5µs from even the deepest sleep modes, the SAM4L family is ideal for battery-powered consumer, industrial, and portable healthcare products. The devices take advantage of the numerous Atmel picoPower power-saving innovations, including SleepWalking, Peripheral Event System, unrivaled wake-up times and intelligent peripherals. The Peripheral Event System is a real-time network that allows peripherals to communicate directly with one another without using the central processing unit (CPU). In addition, SleepWalking technology allows a peripheral to qualify and evaluate incoming data without the use of the CPU, eliminating unneeded, power-consuming CPU wake-ups to conserve power. This allows the peripherals to qualify an event and decide to wake-up whether it is from capacitive touch, I2C address match or an ADC threshold.

The SAM4L family has two series available, the LS series and the full-featured LC series. There are 48-, 64- and 100-pin package options available in both QFPand QFN.

Atmel’s SAM4L-EK evaluation kit is also available with the SAM4L family to help accelerate designs. The SAM4L-EK includes an embedded debugger, power measurement, LCD, USB and capacitive touch. In addition, the SAM4L-EK measures the current consumed by the MCU through independent circuitry, and displays this in real time. The SAM4L-EK is supported by the Atmel Studio 6 www.atmel.com/studio6 integrated development environment (IDE), which features project examples, debugging support and other resources.

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