Low-power MCU tackles complex IoT apps 

Low-power MCU tackles complex IoT apps 

New Products |
By Rich Pell

Targeting smart metering, asset tracking, industrial/building automation, wearables, and personal medical applications, the Giant Gecko MCUs combine peak 72 MHz processing performance, large memory options (up to 2 MB flash and 512 KB RAM), peripherals and hardware accelerators, and comprehensive software tools including the Micrium OS.

The Giant Gecko family features an ARM Cortex-M4 processor core supporting performance-intensive applications. It large internal memory accommodates more code, debugging capabilities, over the air (OTA) updates, data logging and rich graphics.

The SD/MMC and Octal/Quad-SPI memory interfaces support additional memory expansion capabilities for memory-intensive applications. The chip has fast wake-up/sleep transitions and a low-energy fabric allowing autonomous access to sensor inputs and enabling low-power peripherals to operate autonomously. It draws only 77μA/MHz in active mode and 1.6μA in deep sleep mode.

Other communication interfaces and controllers are integrated, including a 10/100 Ethernet media access control (MAC) for IP-based industrial control, a secure digital input output (SDIO) Wi-Fi interface for IP-based wireless cloud connectivity, single or dual CAN bus controllers for industrial applications, a crystal-free USB controller for cost-effective, ultra-low-energy universal connectivity, thin film transistor (TFT) display hardware acceleration with per-pixel alpha blending and ultra-low-energy segment LCD driver, and a current-based capacitive sense engine providing robust touch input and ultra-low power wake-on-touch.

The MCUs also feature an energy-efficient security accelerator that runs advanced algorithms with higher performance and lower power than conventional software methods, a security management unit (SMU) supporting fine-grained security for peripheral access, and a NIST-certified true random number generator (TRNG) for higher security randomization. 

Giant Gecko MCUs are available in a wide range of QFN, QFP and BGA package options with up to 192 pins, including many packages that are footprint-compatible with existing EFM32 MCUs. Software compatibility across the entire EFM32 MCU and EFR32 Wireless Gecko SoC portfolio enables broad software reuse and reduced design time and cost for developers.

Silicon Labs –

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