EMBEDDED WORLD: Energy Micro's EFM32 Tiny Gecko (TG) microcontrollers are based on the ARM Cortex-M3 architecture, have active mode current consumption typically 180µA per MHz executing code from flash.
Current consumption is 900nA in deep sleep mode and 20nA in shut off mode. In application benchmark tests, this low current performance, combined with a wake-up time of under 2s has enabled the EFM32 Gecko microcontrollers to extend battery cell life by a factor of at least four.
The devices are designed to provide the energy-efficient performance of the company's bigger Gecko products combined with smaller flash and RAM combinations and a choice of QFN20, QFN32 and QFN64 packaging.
Later in the year Energy Micro (Oslo, Norway) is planning to announce a low energy Gecko MCU family, offering higher memory capacities and new features including USB connectivity.
The smallest and lowest cost Tiny Gecko microcontrollers, the QFN20 packaged EFM32TG100 devices, provide flash and RAM capacities of respectively 4 to 32kbyte and 1 to 4kbyte and 12 GPIO. The QFN32 packaged TG200 and QFN64 packaged TG230 and TG840 are also pin-compatible with the bigger Gecko family of products and provide flash options of 8, 16 and 32KB and either 2 or 4KB of RAM and 24 or 56 GPIO.
To help further reduce overall system cost, the Tiny Gecko products provide most of the peripherals of the larger Gecko products.
At the top of the range, the TG840 devices embed a 4 x 24 segment LCD controller consuming less than 900nA, while all TG parts offer an AES encryption/decryption engine as standard, a pre-requisite for many wireless applications.
Other peripherals provided by Tiny Gecko include low energy UART and I2C serial interfaces, A/D and D/A converters and a host of counters and timers.
All the Gecko MCU's have a 'peripheral reflex system' running in parallel with the standard 32-bit ARM bus which allows peripherals to run and communicate autonomously while the CPU is turned off, resulting in longer sleep periods and large savings in energy consumption.
Thirteen EFM32 Tiny Gecko microcontrollers will begin sampling in the third quater of 2010 and enter full production during he forth quater of 2010.
As the QFN32 and QFN64 Tiny Gecko microcontrollers are pin and software compatible with the larger Gecko microcontrollers, developers can begin development using Gecko and migrate to Tiny Gecko when the parts become available.