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Power-efficient MCUs target always-on sensor processing apps

10 Nov 2014

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NXP Semiconductors N.V. has introduced a line of microcontrollers (MCUs) that claims to achieve unrivalled power efficiency and consumes an average of 20 per cent less power than its closest competitors. According to the company, the LPC54100 series boasts the company's patented, market-proven architectural innovations to deliver excellent ultra-low power performance for "always-on" sensor processing.

Crucial for always-on applications, the LPC54100 series requires as little as 3uA for continuous sensor listening. A first for sensor applications, its asymmetric dual-core architecture enables scalable active power/performance that enables developers to optimise power efficiency by using the 55uA/MHz Cortex-M0+ core for sensor data collection, aggregation and external communications, or the Cortex-M4F core (100uA/MHz) to execute math-intensive algorithms (i.e., motion sensor fusion) more quickly while saving power.

LPC54100 series

This architecture is complemented by a range of analogue and digital interfaces designed from the ground up for power efficiency, including a 12bit, 4.8Msps ADC capable of full-spec performance at the full voltage range (1.62-3.6V), as well as low-power serial interfaces, enabling the LPC54100 series to offer the lowest power consumption for sensor processing than any other microcontroller in its class, indicated NXP.

The LPC54100 series targets products in mobile, wearable health/fitness, industrial applications (environmental monitoring, home and building automation lighting, and robotics), gaming, or other use cases that require long battery life as a key driver to enhance the end-user experience.

To enable embedded developers to bring sensor-based designs to market quickly, NXP partnered with strategic manufacturers and sensor-processing middleware providers, including Bosch Sensortec, CyWee Motion, Hillcrest Labs and others. NXP has also partnered with Bosch Sensortec to offer an application-in-a-box sensor processing/motion solution that combines an LPC54102 MCU, nine sensors, including Bosch Sensortec's motion and pressure sensors and sensor fusion middleware, and NXP's LPCXpresso development platform and support. The solution makes it simple for customers to enhance next-generation products by incorporating motion and other sensor-based features, detailed NXP.

The LPC54100 series will be available in WLCSP49 (3.2 x 3.2mm) and LQFP64 (10 x 10mm) packages in 1Q15 with pricing starting at $1.99 in 10K quantities. The sensor processing/motion solution and LPCXpresso evaluation board are available through NXP-authorised distributors.

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