ADI’s low-power MCU accelerates the implementation of Internet of Things applications.
HONG KONG, CHINA, Dec. 24, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Whether it’s orderly operation of devices in a black light factory, automatic device detection in a cozy home, or data acquisition of physical signals in digital medicine, beware microcontrollers (MCUs) are the “universal key” to solve almost all scenarios with control requirements. As the Internet of Things has moved into a broader range of scenarios in recent years, such as A large number of low-power data acquisition and control needs have emerged in applications such as portable devices, remote measurement and control, wireless sensing and many other applications, and low-power MCUs have become an important market segment in the microcontroller category. According to JAK Electronics, low-power microcontrollers account for approximately 15% to 20% of the global microcontroller market share of the market size of $4.4 billion in 2019, which is expected to grow to $12.9 billion by 2024. with a compound annual growth (CAGR) of up to 24.1%.
ADI has been strengthening the design and development of low-power MCU products since 2010. Combining its traditional high-performance signal chain technology and industry-leading power management technology, it has successfully launched multiple series of ultra-low-power MCU products for a wide range of fields such as industrial, consumer electronics, and wearable medical.
Since the late 1960s and early 1970s, microcontroller product prototypes appeared, for more than 50 years to date, consumer electronics, computer communications, industrial and automotive electronics, the Internet of Things, electronic device innovation, continues. At the same time, MCU performance has continued to improve, with 16-bit, 32-bit, and even 64-bit MCUs continuing to iteratively upgrade, creating different application categories. More and more functional components such as memory, I/O ports, clocks, A/D conversion and data transmission interfaces such as SPI, I2C and ISP have been integrated.
As a microcontroller segment, low-power MCUs mainly target portable devices, battery-powered, energy-harvesting, and other electronic products that require low-power operation. They usually adopt different design methods and process options than traditional microcontrollers to reduce the power consumption and leakage current of MCUs to allow them to operate longer and provide longer lifetime for battery powered devices or energy harvesting etc. . For example, a continuous blood glucose meter requires a battery life of more than 14 days, intelligent instruments a battery life of more than 6 years, geological disaster monitoring requires permanent self-power of the environment, etc., all of which require an MCU data acquisition, signal processing and other processes with very low power consumption.
In fact, low-power MCUs come with many important technological and design challenges, from defining the system architecture to building the platform and MCU ecosystem to digital circuit design, from process selection to analog circuit design to reliability design low-power design, from application innovation to meeting the various needs of customers, etc. Each aspect places high demands on design companies. Although there are a variety of low-power MCUs on the market, ADI has strong competitiveness in the market with its unique advantages of low power consumption and high performance.
ADI attaches great importance to the important market of low-power MCUs. At present, it has launched a series of products with excellent performance and low power consumption for automotive, consumer, industrial, medical and other fields. ADI’s low-power MCU can keep the power consumption as low as possible in multiple working modes like Active Mode or Deep Sleep Mode, and even the on-power consumption is very low when the SRAM serial port is extended outside. A large number of differentiated design innovation ideas are adopted, such as: B. In the active mode, the MCU runs at full speed, and different function modules can be turned off or turned on independently to achieve the power-saving effect. Because the wearable device is in sleep mode most of the time, the main core of the ADI low-power MCU can be closed in sleep mode, but the built-in intelligent DMA controller can still work normally, which ensures the flexibility of system design while maintaining very low power Power consumption of the overall solution. In order to avoid high power consumption due to the high frequency of the clock source, the MCU chip integrates about 3-6 clock sources. Customers can control many peripheral modules and turn them off to wake them up outside the device without configuring an external crystal oscillator to keep MCU leakage current as low as possible.
This is mainly because ADI’s new series low-power MCU usually has a built-in RISC-V core in addition to the Cortex-M4 core, which is responsible for Bluetooth communication and data transmission and monitoring of I/O port sensor data, etc. Since the RISC-V core normally consumes low power, it can achieve the normal operation of the device without affecting it in sleep mode. And keep the power level low. Just like when the smartwatch is sleeping, the watch face may not display any information because the Cortex-M4 core is sleeping but the RISC-V core is still collecting sensor data.
In addition to the low-power design of the core, the power consumption due to the frequent data access of the memory is also crucial. In portable devices, the MCU typically requires frequent data access to the SRAM and cannot be powered off even in sleep mode. However, ADI low-power MCUs can implement block-off to further optimize power consumption. For example, we reserve only 16,000, 32,000, or 64,000 SRAM space to store data. Even if we reserve 160,000 memory, the operating current is only 2μA, which is also a key parameter in MCU design, and the user can balance the power consumption design.
According to JAK Electronics, ADI’s low-power MCU has high performance, safety and reliability as symbolic hallmarks, in addition to its outstanding performance with low power consumption. Due to the adoption of a Cortex-M4 kernel with a higher mainframe frequency (about 100MHz) than its competitors and built-in large-capacity memory, the ADI low-power MCU can support complex applications, complete some complex algorithms and even some mini operating systems.
On the other hand, as people pay more and more attention to information security and program security in the embedded field, the MCU security level is also gradually improving, and more and more device applications require data information protection. We integrate ADI low-power MCU with security algorithm, which can protect customer’s data information and customer code using security policy and encryption algorithm, and we can even encrypt communication data to prevent hackers from getting it.
In addition, Internet of Things applications are sensitive to power consumption, device size, and cost. ADI low-power MCU integrates multiple functions to achieve a more compact product solution and reduce the total BOM cost. This solution integrates various peripherals for some applications, such as B. Bluetooth, power management and analog front end. Therefore, when customers practice some of their applications, they can even use a single chip to design and achieve relatively low BOM cost, low power consumption and small size. The upcoming MAX32690 integrates the application processing core Cortex-M4 and the dedicated Bluetooth core RISC-V on the same chip, the Bluetooth special core also has its memory area, so that applications and Bluetooth code can run independently, creating a perfect combination of high efficiency is achieved and low power consumption.
In summary, while many IoT edge devices are small, they must support a complex set of sensing, communication, and processing tasks. Low-power MCU as the core control device of the terminal node is a crucial factor that accomplishes these tasks, which will accelerate the emergence of various innovative terminal products.
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