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Energy Micro rolls RTOS with tickless power saving

11 Apr 2013  | Stephen Evanczuk

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Microcontroller and RF transceiver manufacturer Energy Micro has recently announced the availability of its free Keil RTX real-time operating system (RTOS). The latest RTOS is optimised for ARM Cortex-M devices and is available in the company's Simplicity Studio tool suite. The RTOS port includes Energy Micro extensions designed to achieve lower power operation using deep-sleep mode between tasks.

The low-power extension provides a "tickless" mode of operation, where the Energy Micro EFM32 MCU wakes up only when needed at a scheduled time or in response to an interrupt. Other approaches for implementing idle states use the SysTick system timer that requires a continuous high-frequency clock. In contrast, tickless mode offers significantly lower power consumption—less than 1uA—in deep sleep mode between active states.

Energy Micro's video explaining tickless operation can be viewed here.

Keil RTX including full source code under a BSD licence is available in the Simplicity Studio software suite—Energy Micro's free tool suite.

- Stephen Evanczuk

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