According to Silicon Labs, the EFM32 Zero Gecko MCU family comprises the industry's most energy-friendly 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) based on the ARM Cortex-M0+ processor. The family includes 16 cost-effective MCU products designed from the ground up to enable the lowest possible energy consumption for connected devices enabling the Internet of Things (IoT) and for a wide range of battery-powered applications such as mobile health and fitness products, smart watches, activity trackers, smart meters, security systems and wireless sensor nodes, as well as battery-less systems powered by harvested energy.
The EFM32 Zero Gecko MCUs feature five energy modes that enable applications to remain in an energy-optimal state. In deep-sleep mode, Zero Gecko MCUs have a 0.9 A standby current consumption with a 32.768 kHz RTC, RAM/CPU state retention, brown-out detector and power-on-reset circuitry active. Active-mode power consumption scales down to 110 uA/MHz at 24 MHz with real-world code (prime number search algorithm) executed from flash. Current consumption is less than 20 nA in shut-off mode. The EFM32 MCUs further reduce power consumption with a 2-microsecond wakeup time from standby mode.
According to the company, EFM32 Zero Gecko devices are the only Cortex-M0+ MCUs on the market that integrate a programmable current digital-to-analog converter (IDAC). This on-chip precision-analog IDAC generates a biasing current from 0.05-64 uA with only 10 nA overhead. The IDAC provides an accurate bias and/or control capability for companion ICs and other external circuits including amplifiers, sensors, Wheatstone bridges and resistor ladders, thereby eliminating the need for external power amplifier components for many cost-sensitive applications.
The Zero Gecko devices are also the only Cortex-M0+ MCUs containing a 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) hardware block. With this built-in hardware AES encryption acceleration support, the Zero Gecko MCUs provide an ideal companion for RF transmitters and transceivers used in connected device applications for the Internet of Things.