Tiny touch-sensing MCUs target ultra-low-power IoT apps

Tiny touch-sensing MCUs target ultra-low-power IoT apps

By eeNews Europe

Available in a 1.78 x 1.66-mm wafer-level chip-scale package (WLCSP), the EFM8SB1 Sleepy Bee MCUs are presented as the industry’s smallest MCUs – one-quarter the size of 8-bit MCUs in conventional QFN packages. The devices are aimed at touch-based, battery-powered and space-constrained IoT and industrial applications requiring long battery lifetimes and energy-efficient human interfaces. Target applications include wearables, remote controls, Bluetooth accessories and eReaders, as well as industrial automation, home automation and office equipment.

Offered as the company’s most energy-friendly 8-bit devices, the MCUs are offer sleep-mode power (50 nA with full memory retention and brown-out detection) and 2 µs wake-up time. Core speeds scale up to 25 MHz, and flash sizes range from 2 kB to 8 kB. The MCUs also integrate a capacitive sense controller offering an ultra-low-power, under 1 µA, wake-on-touch capability and 12 robust capacitive touch channels, eliminating the need for on/off switches in many space-sensitive products such as wearables.

Silicon Labs supports touch-sense interface design with its Capacitive Sense Library available within the Simplicity Studio development platform. Simplicity Studio provides firmware designers with production-ready firmware, from scanning buttons to filtering noise. By using the Simplicity Studio Capacitive Sense Profiler to visualise real-time data and the noise levels of cap-sense buttons, developers can easily customise touch and no-touch thresholds and noise filtering settings, greatly simplifying the addition of capacitive touch to IoT applications.

The EFM8SB1 MCUs offer a mix of analogue and digital peripherals including a high-resolution capacitance-to-digital converter (CDC), a 12-bit analogue-to-digital converter (ADC), high-performance timers, and enhanced SPI, I²C and UART serial ports. These and other analogue/mixed-signal peripherals are all configurable and accessible to developers through Silicon Labs’ crossbar technology.

In a WLCSP package, EFM8SB1 MCUs are priced at $0.47 (10,000). The EFM8SB Sleepy Bee starter kit is priced at $29.

EFM8 8-bit Microcontrollers information page
EFM8 Sleepy Bee 8-bit MCU Device Starter Kits information page

Silicon labs:

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