Addressing the need for energy efficiency in power-sensitive applications, Silicon Laboratories has introduced the industry's lowest power microcontroller (MCU) family. Silicon Labs' ultra-low-power C8051F91x/0x MCUs dramatically increase battery life in portable designs and other power-sensitive embedded systems. The new F91x/0x MCUs are ideal for a wide range of applications where low power consumption is critical such as smart meters, RFID tags, personal medical devices, sensor interfaces, energy harvesting, home security systems, and smoke and fire detectors.
Consuming the industry's lowest current in common modes of operation, the 8-bit F91x/0x MCUs enable the lowest system-level power consumption in the embedded market. The power-efficient MCUs offer the lowest active mode current consumption (160 microamps per MHz), which saves power when the system is running. They also consume the lowest current in sleep mode, either with an active real-time clock and brown-out detect circuit (300 nanoamps) or without a real-time clock or brown-out detect circuit operating (10 nanoamps) while maintaining full RAM retention.
In systems that use sleep modes, a significant amount of power can be wasted waking up the MCU and preparing it to acquire or process data. The F91x/0x family has been designed to wake up in an extremely short amount of time (less than two microseconds), minimizing the amount of time spent in an energy-wasting state. These industry-leading low-power specifications enable manufacturers to either extend the battery lifetime of their end products or potentially use smaller batteries, saving additional system cost.
Silicon Labs' F91x/0x family leapfrogs other competitive MCUs by providing the lowest current in common operating modes without sacrificing performance, features or specifications, said Mark Thompson, vice president of Silicon Laboratories. No other MCU vendor matches Silicon Labs' best-in-class power consumption in both sleep and active modes, further establishing our leadership in ultra-low-power MCUs for power-sensitive applications.
The F91x/0x MCUs expand Silicon Labs' award-winning C8051F9xx MCU family by offering cost-effective 8 kB and 16 kB flash memory options while providing 25 MIPS core performance and advanced analog peripherals such as an on-chip 12-bit analog-to-digital (ADC) converter with an autonomous power-saving burst mode. Silicon Labs' ultra-low-power F9xx family MCUs are software and footprint compatible, enabling developers to use one board layout and code set while migrating to lower-cost designs.
The F91x/0x MCUs integrate a highly efficient dc-to-dc converter designed to operate down to 0.9 V, enabling low-cost AA or AAA battery operation, which supports smaller form factors, reduces system cost and provides an innovative way to extend battery life. In addition, the dc-to-dc converter can supply up to 65 mW of output power to drive other system components such as LEDs, RF transceivers and sensors, creating a true single-battery system solution. This environmentally friendly, low-voltage capability ultimately helps consumers save money by reducing the number of batteries required for a given application by half.