Atmel: ‘lowest power’ ARM Cortex-M4
Atmel has launched an ARM Cortex-M4 microcontroller that consumes 90µA/MHz in active mode, claiming this to be the lowest yet.
Called the SAM4L family, “the devices are the most efficient MCUs in the market today, achieving up to 28 CoreMark/mA using IAR Embedded Workbench [version 6.40]“, claimed the firm. “In sleep mode, the devices consume 1.5µA with full RAM retention, and 700nA in back-up mode.”
Wake-up time can be as low as 1.5µs “from even the deepest sleep modes”, said Atmel.
As with many other processors today, peripherals to communicate directly with one another without using the central processing unit (CPU). Atmel calls its flavour ‘Peripheral Event System’.
Incoming data can also be qualified without live CPU intervention, including that associated with capacitive touch, I2C address match or an ADC threshold.
Another power-saving feature is an LCD controller that includes ASCII character mapping, hardware scrolling and blinking support.
There are to two series in the family: LS series and the full-featured LC series, coming in QFP and QFN packages with 48, 64 and 100pins.
Some samples are available now, with some production in November, although the 64pin WLCSP and 100pin BGA packages are scheduled for January 2013.
The SAM4L-EK evaluation includes an embedded debugger, power measurement, LCD, USB and capacitive touch. “In addition, the SAM4L-EK measures the current consumed by the MCU through independent circuitry, and displays this in real time” said Atmel.
Atmel’s Studio 6 integrated development environment includes project examples, debugging support and other resources.