Power Electronics
Based on an ARM CortexM0 core and lowenergy peripherals the Happy Gecko series simplifies USB connectivity for a wide range of IoT applications Image courtesy of Silicon Labs

Based on an ARM Cortex-M0+ core and low-energy peripherals, the Happy Gecko series simplifies USB connectivity for a wide range of IoT applications. (Image courtesy of Silicon Labs).

Energy-Friendly USB Microcontrollers

The Happy Gecko USB-enabled microcontrollers (MCUs) from Silicon Labs exhibit low power drain, enabling longer battery life in energy harvesting applications. Based on the ARM® Cortex®-M0+ core and low-energy peripherals, the Happy Gecko family simplifies USB connectivity for a wide range of Internet of Things (IoT) applications including smart metering, home and building automation, alarm and security systems, smart accessories and wearable devices.

Happy Gecko USB MCUs feature an advanced energy management system with five energy modes enabling applications to remain in an energy-optimal state by spending as little time as possible in active mode. In deep-sleep mode, Happy Gecko MCUs have an industry-leading 0.9 µA standby current consumption (with a 32.768 kHz RTC, RAM/CPU state retention, brown-out detector and power-on-reset circuitry active). Active-mode power consumption drops down to 130 µA/MHz at 24 MHz with real-world code (prime number algorithm). The USB MCUs further reduce power consumption with a 2-microsecond wakeup time from standby mode.

Like all EFM32 MCUs, the Happy Gecko family includes the Peripheral Reflex System (PRS) feature, which greatly enhances overall energy efficiency. The six-channel PRS monitors complex system-level events and allows different MCU peripherals to communicate autonomously with each other without CPU intervention. The PRS watches for specific events to occur before waking the CPU, thereby keeping the Cortex-M0+ core in an energy-saving standby mode as long as possible, reducing system power consumption and extending battery life.

Happy Gecko MCUs feature many of the same low-energy precision analog peripherals included in other EFM32 devices. These low-energy peripherals include an analog comparator, supply voltage comparator, on-chip temperature sensor, programmable current digital-to-analog converter (IDAC), and a 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) with 350 µA current consumption at a 1 MHz sample rate. On-chip AES encryption enables the secure deployment of wireless connectivity for IoT applications such as smart meters and wireless sensor networks.

The Happy Gecko family includes 20 MCU devices providing an array of memory, package and peripheral options, as well as pin and software compatibility with Silicon Labs' entire EFM32 MCU portfolio. Samples and production quantities of Happy Gecko MCUs are available now in 24-pin and 32-pin QFN, 48-pin QFP and 3 mm x 2.9 mm CSP packages. Happy Gecko MCU pricing in 10,000-unit quantities begins at $0.83 (USD). The Happy Gecko SLSTK3400A starter kit is available now and priced at $29.

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