MCUs boost efficiency to energy-sensitive devices

Volume production has begun for the energy-efficient ARM Cortex-M0+ STM32L0 microcontrollers. There is a development ecosystem including minimal-cost boards and free software tools.

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PSoC architecture has ARM Cortex-M0 core for interface options

Embedded designs can be delivered to market quicker, and with the ability to develop user interfaces, using the PSoC 4 programmable SoC, says Cypress Semiconductor.
The chip has a 32bit ARM-Cortex-M0 core, adding up to 256kbyte flash memory, 98 general purpose I/Os, 33 programmable analogue and digital blocks, a USB device controller, and a CAN interface. The PSoC 4 L-Series delivers up to 13 programmable analogue blocks including four high-performance op amps, four current-output DACs, two low-power comparators, a 12bit SAR ADC and dual CapSense blocks with up to 94 capacitive-sensing channels. The analogue blocks enable engineers to create on-chip, custom analogue front ends to support new end-product features, without increasing product costs, size or power consumption, says the company.

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TDK’s miniature Bluetooth module is available from Mouser Electronics

Distributor Mouser Electronics now stocks TDK’s SESUB-PAN-D14580 Bluetooth v4.1 module. This compact, Low Energy (LE) micro module is the world’s smallest module for Bluetooth Smart devices, says the company. The 3.5 × 3.5 × 1mm module is based on the company’s proprietary Semiconductor Embedded in Substrate (SESUB) technology, which is claimed to result in a reduction of 60% in size, compared to modules using discrete components. The single-mode module’s footprint and low current consumption make it ideal for battery-powered wearable devices where small size, light weight, and low power consumption are essential, points out the distributor.
The module integrates a Dialog Semiconductor DA14580 Bluetooth 4.1 chip, 32bit ARM Cortex-M0 microcontroller, and DC/DC converter onto a thin substrate, along with all peripheral circuitry including a 16MHz crystal, inductor, and capacitor. All I/O from the substrate layers are routed to a BGA footprint on the module’s bottom surface. Interfaces include UART, SPI, and I2C, to implement connectivity.
The low-power module requires a voltage supply of 3.0V, and consumes only 5.0mA when transmitting, 5.4mA when receiving, and 0.8µA in standby mode. Output power is rated at 0dBm (typical), with a communication range of 10m, depending on line of sight and antenna characteristics.

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Imec and Cloudtag collaborate on frictionless, next-gen tracker

More lifestyle coaching than mere wearable devices, Cloudtag has launched its Cloudtag Track frictionless, wearable device, developed in collaboration with imec, the nanoelectronics research centre.
The fitness tracker combines fitness and health monitoring with design, it says, for fitness and the care, cure and prevention cycle by providing immediate access to medical data and personalised feedback.
imec developed algorithms for the medical technology company’s wearable sensor devices that enable accurate monitoring of physiological parameters. Cloudtag Track is its first wearable multi-sensor device. It is light and small, yet integrates a proprietary algorithm that retrieves physiological parameters with what the company claims is “an exceptionally high level of accuracy”. The algorithm recognises activity, measures energy expenditure, heart rate and other physiological data.

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