MicroEJ and NXP bases long-life smartwatches on i.MX microcontrollers

A dedicated low-power on-device platform developed by MicoEJ and NXP is claimed to introduce a “new era in . . . user interfaces and outstanding power savings”. The smart power savings core can mean smartwatches can expect to achieve up to 40 days of autonomy on a standard battery, said MicroEJ.

The software of IoT and embedded devices specialist has collaborated with NXP Semiconductors to supply a dedicated MicroEJ VEE on-device platform based on NXP’s i.MX RT500 microcontroller.

NXP’s i.MX RT500 crossover microcontroller, coupled with MicroEJ VEE platform, offers an integrated solution for holistic low power management and small footprint. Designers can use the coupling to develop user interfaces to differentiate a production, leveraging both software and hardware graphical engines for low power animations, said the company. The combination results in a smooth and fast rendering, typically 60 frames per second (FPS) on average and low power consumption which can provide up to 40 days’ autonomy on a standard battery.

For wearable devices the platform specifically addresses three power optimisation levels. The first is reduced active power. MicroEJ VEE provides six power modes that automatically adjust power consumption to save battery life. The modes are Full, High, Low, Sleep, Suspend and Off. Automatic voltage adjustments and optimal RAM allocations are included.

The second power optimisation level is reduced processing time. MicroEJ VEE reduces overall complexity by scheduling multi-tasking and synchronising timers. All the generic library stacks (e.g., user interface, IoT) leverage the various parallel hardware execution units (i.e. multi-cores, GPU, DMAs, PowerQuad hardware accelerator) for the NXP i.MX RT500.

The third level is reduced standby power. MicroEJ VEE leverages the built-in low power modes of NXP’s i.MX RT500 microcontroller, automatically reducing voltage while in the Suspend power state.

MicroEJ VEE assists the analysis and balancing between power, footprint and speed in the design of a wearable system. It supports software engineers focusing on high level logic and value addition, based on an intuitive API, with distinct levels of power optimisation.

In addition, MicroEJ VEE also makes it possible to parallelise software and hardware development through virtual devices, which drastically simplifies and accelerates software development to accelerate design cycles. MicroEJ claims that it can enable product launches up to three times faster, while decreasing R&D costs by 40 per cent, on average.

Security and reliability are reinforced by the safe virtual container provided by MicroEJ that clearly separates software components in hermetic sandboxes with customisable sets of rights.

MicroEJ is a software vendor of for embedded and IoT devices. It is a gold member of the NXP Partner Program, a global network of engineering companies.


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