Energy-friendly EFM32 Gecko MCUs support ARM mbed OS

12th November 2015
Nat Bowers

Silicon Labs has revealed broad support for ARM mbed OS within the energy-friendly EFM32 Gecko MCU portfolio based on ARM Cortex-M processors. Silicon Labs’ Giant Gecko, Happy Gecko, Leopard Gecko and Wonder Gecko MCUs running mbed OS along with mbed power management APIs provide best-in-class energy efficiency, design simplicity and security technology for embedded developers creating battery-operated, ARM-based connected devices for the IoT.

Silicon Labs is demonstrating its mbed-supported development platform in the ARM mbed Zone at ARM TechCon. Showcasing Silicon Labs’ popular Cortex-M3-based EFM32 Giant Gecko MCU, Bluetooth Smart technology and Si114x optical sensor for ambient light and Heart Rate Monitoring (HRM), the development platform demonstrates how easy it is to design energy-friendly connected devices that support mbed OS, Bluetooth Smart connectivity and biometric sensing. A pioneer in the use of optical sensors for HRM applications, Silicon Labs has developed unique hardware and software technology to simplify heart-rate measurements in wearable designs.

In related news, ARM introduced its new wearables reference design featuring mbed OS integration at ARM TechCon, which incorporates power-management APIs that Silicon Labs and ARM co-developed and introduced earlier this year. These low-power mbed APIs now provide a foundation for all peripheral interactions in mbed OS. Designed with real-world, low-energy application scenarios in mind, the APIs allow mbed OS developers to optimise their ARM mbed-supported designs for low energy consumption and longer battery life. Leveraging the power management APIs built into mbed OS, Silicon Labs’ EFM32 Gecko MCUs automatically enable the optimal sleep mode based on the MCU peripherals in use, which can dramatically reduce system-level energy consumption.

“We welcome Silicon Labs’ support for mbed OS and look forward to our continued collaboration across APIs and reference designs that will drive the future of ultra-low-power ARM-based MCU platforms,” said Zach Shelby, Vice President, Marketing, IoT business, ARM. “Silicon Labs’ deep understanding of system-level energy optimisation, combined with mbed OS support, will help to advance innovation in energy-constrained IoT device technologies relating to elements such as sensing and low-power connectivity.”

Daniel Cooley, Vice President, Marketing, IoT products, Silicon Labs, commented: “The combination of Silicon Labs’ Gecko MCU, wireless and sensing solutions and ARM’s energy-friendly mbed OS implementation provides an unparallelled platform for developing standards-based, low-energy products for the IoT. ARM mbed OS advances C++ embedded design for the IoT by abstracting the complexity out of device-to-cloud connectivity while providing essential security features to help safeguard IoT products.”

Support for ARM mbed OS is available now for Silicon Labs’ Giant Gecko, Happy Gecko, Leopard Gecko and Wonder Gecko starter kits, each priced at $29.99 (MSRP).

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