Energy Micro Launches EFM32 Wonder Gecko Cortex M4 MCUs and Starter Kit

After having announced EFM32 Wonder Gecko MCU family in February, Energy Micro has just officially launched their new family of high performance, low power MCUs. These micro-controllers come with an ARM Cortex-M4 CPU with floating-point unit (FPU) and DSP instruction set that helps reduce the processing time of your application in active mode. All MCUs come with 32KB SRAM, and between 64 to 256KB flash. Energy Micro expects their new chips to be used in applications such as gas metering, energy metering, water metering, smart metering, alarm and security systems, health and fitness applications, and industrial and home automation. One key advantage of this new MCU family is the implementation of TSMC’s eLL (Extreme Low Leakage) technology that dramatically reduces power consumption at high temperatures. There top of range MCUs (EFM32WG995FXXX) feature the following specifications: ARM Cortex-M4 CPU platform @ up to 48 MHz with DSP instruction support and floating-point […]

Keil RTX RTOS is Now Available for Energy Micro EFM32 MCUs

Energy Micro has recently announced the availability of the Keil RTX real-time operating system (RTOS) as part of its Simplicity Studio tool suite. The Keil RTX has been optimized for ARM Cortex-M processors to provide flexible scheduling and high-speed operation, and has been improved to enable an ultra-low power, deep-sleep mode between tasks. Energy Micro has implemented a tickless mode in Keil RTX. This mode allows the EFM32 Cortex M3 MCUs to wake up only when needed, either at a scheduled time or on an interrupt event. This results in much lower power consumption in sleep mode compared to other SysTick implementations. The video below shows the difference between SYSTICK mode where the system consumes about 2.7mA in active mode, and 830 uA in sleep mode to the new tickless mode where the MCU still consume the same amount of energy in Active mode, but only 1uA in sleep mode, […]

Open Source Time Machine #2 – Build A Complete Watch Yourself

There are already some watches such as Texas Instruments ez430-Crhonos and MetaWatch that are used as development platform and let you develop software yourself. Some hardware documentation is usually provided as well, but Energy Micro forums’ member hairykiwi is trying to go a bit further. He created a watch based on EFM32 Cortex M3 MCU and already released the KiCad schematics and gerber files, with 3D printer files and firmware source code to be released once they are ready. The project is called “Open source Time Machine #2” (OTM2). The project makes use of the following components and features: EFM32LG332F256 – Energy Micro Cortex M3 Leopard Gecko MCU with 256KB flash and 32KB SRAM A 128×128 pixel (23.2 x23.2mm visible area) ultra low power Memory LCD from Sharp Microelectronics, Recharge and programming via Micro USB connector. JTAG programming is also available. 150mAh Li-Po Battery + on-board battery fuel gauge IC. […]

ARM MCU Development in Linux with Energy Micro’s Simplicity Studio, Eclipse, and CodeSourcery Toolchain

Quite a few months ago, I received an Energy Micro EFM32 Tiny Gecko Starter Kit, but I haven’t done much with it. But recently I saw a tweet from EnergyMicro about Simplicity Studio supports for Ubuntu, and I know it can be problematic to find proper tools for ARM MCU development in Linux, so I decided to give it a try. The first part is about Simplicity Studio, and energyAwareTools which are specific to Energy Micro, but the second part deals with setting up Eclipse and CodeSourcery ARM toolchain for MCU development which should be reusable for other MCUs from vendors such as Texas Instruments, NXP and STMicro. I’ve used a PC running Ubuntu 12.04 64-bit with the instructions below. Installing Simplicity Studio and energyAwareTools in Ubuntu Simplicity Studio is part of the 4 steps of the getting started guide with EFM32 MCUs. It has been available for Linux for […]

199 Euros “Energy Harvesting Solution To Go” Kit with Energy Micro Cortex M3 Starter Kit

If you’re interesting in battery less ultra low power applications, Energy Micro, Linear Technology and Würth Elektronik have announced an energy harvesting development platform early last month. The “Energy Harvesting Solution To Go” Kit is composed of an Energy Micro Giant Gecko (Cortex M3) Starter Kit and an energy harvesting board that is capable of getting enough solar, thermal, piezoelectric or electromagnetic energy to power the MCU board. The power connector shown above connects directly to the Giant Gecko Starter Kit board to provide power. Although there are 4 energy harvesters on the board, only one power source can be selected at a time via jumpers. Several power sources can be selected by using diodes. The board The energy harvesting board offers two integrated energy sources: A solar cell (32mm x 50mm) A thermo-generator (40mm x 40mm). And 2 other external energy sources can be added to the board via […]

Energy Micro EFM32 Tiny Gecko (Cortex-M3) Starter Kit Unboxing

I’ve been lucky recently, after winning a TI Piccolo controlStick last month, I’ve just received Energy Micro EFM32 Starter Kit (EFM32-TG-STK3300) based on EFM32 Tiny Gecko MCU. This development board include: EFM32 Tiny Gecko Cortex-M3 MCU 8×20 LCD A light sensor A touch slider A battery compartment SEGGER J-Link mini USB port 2 Button + 1 reset button 1 User LEDs 2 expansion ports. Lots of through holes to access the different pins of the MCU Today, I’ll just show the content of the kit and next time, I’ll post more about the things I’ve done with it. Here’s the package of the EFM32 Starter Kit. The 2 gecko eggs were not included… Actually, those are house geckos eggs which are smaller than real geckos. We’ve got those here as well, but there are very shy, whereas house geckos just run around the walls and ceilings all day. Well, it’s […]

SCUBAPRO-UWATEC Meridian Dive Computer Powered by EFM32 Gecko Cortex M3 MCU

SCUBAPRO-UWATEC and Energy Micro have unveiled the SCUBAPRO Meridian dive computer powered by Energy Micro EFM32 Gecko MCU. Meridian is a sophisticated dive computer in a watch design, powered by a CR2032 lithium battery. The companies claim the Meridian is the world’s first 32-bit dive watch-computer. It can operate at depths of up to 120 meters, incorporates an advanced diving algorithm, performs multi-gas decompression and features an heart rate monitor that enables adaptive workload calculations. The watch computer can be used both during diving, configured to display a variety of dive information including depth, dive time, decompression status and water temperature, and above the surface where it handles remaining desaturation time, no-fly time. Its built-in thermometer and altimeter can also be used for mountain treks. The MCU used in the Meridian is the Energy Micro EFM32G890 Gecko, a 32MHz 32-bit MCU based on ARM Cortex-M3 consuming 180µA/MHz is active mode […]

Energy Micro Unveils 2 New Gecko Cortex M3 Starter Kits: EFM32LG-STK3600 and EFM32GG-STK3700

Energy Micro introduced two starter kits (STK) for complex battery-powered products such as portable health and fitness devices and smart accessories: EFM32LG-STK3600 – Based on the EFM32LG990F256 MCU (Cortex M3 ) with 256KB on-chip flash and 32KB RAM. EFM32GG-STK3700 – Based on the EFM32GG990F1024 MCU (Cortex M3 ) with 1MB on-chip Flash and 128KB RAM Both the Leopard Gecko and Giant Gecko MCU can directly control a TFT display and feature a USB driver that supports the Host, Device and On-the-Go (OTG) protocols. The new STKs are also equipped with light, metal and touch sensors which allow designers to work with the LESENSE Low Energy Sensor interface allowing passive sensing of 16 sensors without host CPU intervention. The hardware feature set is completed by a USB plug, 32MB on-board NAND Flash, LCD and a variety of LEDs and push-buttons. The two EFM32 starter kits includes debugging support with a  full […]