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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Silicon Labs claims lowest power wireless microcontroller

Silicon Labs claims lowest power wireless microcontroller - EETimes Europe

Silicon Labs is aiming to have the industry’s most energy-efficient microcontroller and wireless MCU with several architectural and technology innovation in its C8051F96x
The 8bit core uses a 32bit wide interface to flash for the first time so that multiple instructions can be accessed quickly and the flash shut down between operations to save power, and it uses hardwired accelerators for key functions to reduce the energy consumption and allow the core to stay in sleep mode as long as possible. Silicon Labs has also designed an on-chip DC-DC buck converter to improve the conversion efficiency to 85% and has used dedicated high voltage standard cells to reduce the static and leakage power. This converter can supply up to 250 mW to the core and other circuits in the system such as an RF transceiver and can be controlled independently of the core to shut down multiple power planes.
All this allows 40% lower system current and a 65% higher battery life in a range of applications, mostly wireless metering with a battery life of over 20 years, but also wireless security, home and building automation, portable medical and asset tracking products, says Ken Odland, director of marketing for MCUs at Silicon Labs.

By Nick Flaherty

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