Last year Ambiq Micro unveiled their Apollo Cortex-M4F MCU with Cortex M0+ energy efficiency thanks to operation in sub-threshold voltage (< 0.5 V), and the MCU is said found in Matrix Powerwatch, a fitness tracker powered by body heat that you never need to charge. The company has recently announced a new version of the micro-controller with Apollo 2 MCU with better maximum performance thanks to a higher maximum clock speed (48 MHz vs 24 MHz), and higher efficiency (10 μA/MHz vs 30 μA/MHz @ 3.3V).
Apollo 2 MCU key features and specifications:
- Ultra-low supply current
- <10 μA/MHz executing from flash at 3.3 V
- <10 μA/MHz executing from RAM at 3.3 V
- ARM Cortex-M4 Processor up to 48 MHz with FPU, MMU, wake-up interrupt controller with 32 interrupts
- Ultra-low power memory
- Up to 1 MB of flash memory for code/data
- Up to 256 KB of low leakage RAM for code/data
- 16kB 1 or 2-way Associative Cache
- Ultra-low power interface for off-chip sensors
- 14 bit, 15-channel, up to 1.2 MS/s ADC
- Voltage comparator
- Temperature sensor with +/-2ºC accuracy
- Serial peripherals – 6x I2C/SPI master,1x I2C/SPI slave,2x UART, PDM for mono and stereo audio microphone
- Clock sources
- 32.768 kHz XTAL oscillator
- Low frequency RC oscillator – 1.024 kHz
- High frequency RC oscillator – 48 MHz
- RTC based on Ambiq’s AM08X5/18X5 families
- Wide operating range – 1.8-3.6 V, –40 to 85°C
- Package – 2.5 x 2.5 mm 49-pin CSP with 34 GPIO; 4.5 x 4.5 mm 64-pin BGA with 50 GPIO
The MCU promises weeks, months, and years of battery life thanks to Ambiq Micro’s patented Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology (SPOT) Platform. Apollo 2 will be suitable for battery operated devices, or even batteryless devices leveraging energy harvesting such as wireless sensors, activity and fitness trackers, consumer medical devices, smart watches, and smart home/IoT devices.
Documentation and devkits are available but you’d need to contact the company to learn more. Ambiq Micro’s Apollo 2 is currently sampling to some partners, and will be sampling more broadly in the coming months. A few more details may be found on Ambiq Micro Apollo 2’s product page.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.
2 Replies to “Ambiq Micro Introduces Ultra-Low Power Apollo 2 Cortex-M4F MCU Consuming Less than 10 μA/MHz”
Nice! I wonder when they will port Arduino to this
With Apollo4 coming up it feels like Apollo2 is about to be axed, wrongfully so. You cannot get Apollo3 without Bluetooth and Apollo4 doesn’t have a variant without this “smartwatch-on-chip” GPU+audio feature set, making Apollo2 the best choice for small/support microcontroller for battery-powered devices.