MUNICH — The Internet of Things took a dominant role at the 2014 Electronica Show in Munich, Germany. Developing ultra-low-power nodes for sensors that can be connected wirelessly to the wider Internet is opening up many different design options, and both silicon and embedded software suppliers are developing a variety of architectural approaches.
New silicon from NXP, Cypress Semiconductor, and Atmel is reducing the power consumption and adding a range of new peripherals, including programmable logic. At the same time, new protocols are extending the range of the wireless nodes, reaching across the city of Munich.
New ways of connecting systems across the factory floor, the enterprise, and the home are being driven by other protocols, such as Thread, that were also demonstrated across the show.
Here are seven approaches to the IoT controller from Electronica 2014.
With the LCP54100, NXP aims to be the controller at the heart of sensor nodes. Combining an ultra-low-power 32-bit ARM 100MHz Cortex-M0+ core at 55 uW/MHz for managing peripherals and monitoring the system with a 100MHz ARM Cortex-M4 processor for complex algorithm handling, the $2 device is targeted directly at battery-powered sensor fusion applications.
NXP has created power profiles in ROM with an API to manage all the peripherals on the chip and the frequency and sleep modes of the cores, though these can also be adjusted directly.
The voltage is automatically adjusted between 0.85 V and 1.35 V to match the different frequency sets for each of the processor cores, depending on the power profiles.
Peripherals include a 12-bit ADC that operates across the battery range of 1.62 V to 3.6 V with a constant 4.8 Msample/s.
The 90nm 54100 includes 256 KB of flash and 104 KB of SRAM. Package options include a 3.3 x 3.3mm chip scale package. NXP has also partnered with Bosch Sensortec for Arduino shields of various sensors, and with Ackme for a Broadcom-based WiFI module.
To see more slides of MCUs for IoT at Electronica from Cypress, Atmel, Freescale, Semtec, Neocortec and Microchip, go to “Seven controllers for Internet of Things.”