Silicon Labs Unveils EFM32 Zero Gecko MCU Family Based on ARM Cortex M0+

Silicon Labs, who bought Energy Micro earlier this year, has recently introduced a new family of 32-bit MCU based on ARM Cortex M0+ called EFM32 Zero Gecko, as well as the corresponding starter kit. These ultra low power MCUs (currently 16 products) are destined to be used in  IoT applications such as mobile health and fitness products, smart watches, activity trackers, smart meters, security systems and wireless sensor nodes, as well as battery-less systems powered by harvested energy.

EFM32 Zero Gecko
EFM32 Zero Gecko

The key features of this family include:

  • ARM Cortex-M0+ core @ 24 MHz
  • 4kb to 32 kB flash and 2kb to 4 kB RAM memory
  • 17 to 37 GPIO
  • Single 1.85–3.8 V power supply
  • 5 Power modes
  • Hardware AES (Some models only)
  • -40° to 85 °C operation range
  • Package options: QFN24, QFN32 and QFN48

EFM32ZG222F32, the Zero Gecko MCU with the most memory and features, has the following specifications:

  • ARM Cortex-M0+ CPU platform @ up to 24 MHz with Wake-up Interrupt Controller
  • Energy Management System:
    • 20 nA @ 3 V Shutoff Mode
    • 0.5 μA @ 3 V Stop Mode, including Power-on Reset, Brown-out Detector, RAM and CPU retention
    • 0.9 μA @ 3 V Deep Sleep Mode, including RTC with 32.768 kHz oscillator, Power-on Reset, Brown-out Detector, RAM and CPU retention
    • 46 μA/MHz @ 3 V Sleep Mode
    • 114 μA/MHz @ 3 V Run Mode, with code executed from flash
  • Memory – 32 KB Flash, 4 KB RAM
  • 37 General Purpose I/O pins:
    • Configurable push-pull, open-drain, pull-up/down, input filter, drive strength
    • Configurable peripheral I/O locations
    • 16 asynchronous external interrupts
    • Output state retention and wake-up from Shutoff Mode
  • 4 Channel DMA Controller
  • 4 Channel Peripheral Reflex System (PRS) for autonomous inter-peripheral signaling
  • Hardware AES with 128-bit keys in 54 cycles
  • Timers/Counters:
    • 2× 16-bit Timer/Counter
    • 2×3 Compare/Capture/PWM channels
    • 1× 24-bit Real-Time Counter
    • 1× 16-bit Pulse Counter
    • Watchdog Timer with dedicated RC oscillator @ 50 nA
  • Communication interfaces:
    • 1× Universal Synchronous/Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter – UART/SPI/SmartCard (ISO 7816) /IrDA/I2S with triple buffered full/half-duplex operation
    • Low Energy UART – Autonomous operation with DMA in Deep Sleep Mode
    • I2C Interface with SMBus support – Address recognition in Stop Mode
  • Ultra low power precision analog peripherals
    • 12-bit 1 Msamples/s Analog to Digital Converter – 4 single ended channels/ differential channels, On-chip temperature sensor
    • Current Digital to Analog Converter – Selectable current range between 0.05 and 64 uA
    • 1× Analog Comparator – Capacitive sensing with up to 5 inputs
    • Supply Voltage Comparator
  • Ultra efficient Power-on Reset and Brown-Out Detector
  • 2-pin Serial Wire Debug interface
  • Pre-Programmed UART Bootloader
  • Temperature range -40 to 85 ºC
  • Single power supply 1.85 to 3.8 V
  • TQFP48 package

The company also provides a starter kit (EFM32ZG-STK3200) featuring EFM32ZG222F32 MCU (See specs above) with the following key features:

  • EFM32ZG222F32 Zero Gecko MCU
  • Advanced Energy Monitoring v2
  • Real-time energy and power profiling
  • Backup Capacitor for RTC mode
  • USB interface for Host/Device/OTG
  • LESENSE demo ready
  • Light, LC and touch sensors
  • SEGGER J-Link debugger
  • Free evaluation compiler versions
  • Supported by Simplicity Studio in Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.
EFM32ZG-STK3200 Starter Kit

Samples of Silicon Labs EFM32 Zero Gecko MCUs are available now in QFN and QFP packages, and production quantities are planned for Q4 2013. Product pricing for the Zero Gecko MCUs in 100,000-unit quantities begins at $0.49. The EFM32ZG-STK3200 starter kit is available now and priced at $69. It’s also possible to win one, if you have an interesting project, and are lucky.

You can find more information on EFM32 Zero Gecko and EFM32ZG-STK3200 Starter Kit pages. You may also want to read one user’s review of the Zero Gecko Starter Kit.

Thanks to Viswa for the tip.

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