Power Electronics
These tiny MCUs are ideal for touchbased batterypowered and spaceconstrained IoT and industrial applications requiring long battery lifetimes and energyefficient human interfaces Image courtesy of Silicon Labs

These tiny MCUs are ideal for touch-based, battery-powered and space-constrained IoT and industrial applications requiring long battery lifetimes and energy-efficient human interfaces. (Image courtesy of Silicon Labs).

Small, Energy-Friendly Touch Sensing Microcontroller

Silicon Labs has introduced the latest member of its EFM8 8-bit MCU portfolio designed for ultra-low-power, small-footprint IoT applications with capacitive touch sensing requirements. The new EFM8SB1 "Sleepy Bee" MCUs, available in a 1.78 mm x 1.66 mm wafer-level chip-scale package (WLCSP), are the industry's smallest MCUs - one-fourth the size of 8-bit MCUs in conventional QFN packages.

These tiny MCUs are ideal for touch-based, battery-powered and space-constrained IoT and industrial applications requiring long battery lifetimes and energy-efficient human interfaces. Target applications include wearables, remote controls, Bluetooth accessories and eReaders, as well as industrial automation, home automation and office equipment.

The EFM8SB1 MCUs are energy-friendly 8-bit devices offering industry-leading sleep mode power (50 nA with full memory retention and brown-out detection) and an ultra-fast 2 µs wake-up time. Core speeds scale up to 25 MHz, and flash sizes range from 2 kB to 8 kB. The MCUs also integrate a best-in-class capacitive sense controller offering an ultra-low-power < 1 µA wake-on-touch capability and 12 robust capacitive touch channels, eliminating the need for on/off switches in many space-sensitive products such as wearables.

Besides providing advanced on-chip capacitive sensing technology, Silicon Labs supports touch-sense interface design with its best-in-class Capacitive Sense Library available within the Simplicity Studio™ development platform, offering all of the features and algorithms required to add capacitive sensing interfaces to IoT products. Simplicity Studio provides firmware designers with production-ready firmware, from scanning buttons to filtering noise. In addition, by using the Simplicity Studio Capacitive Sense Profiler to visualize real-time data and the noise levels of cap-sense buttons, developers can easily customize touch and no-touch thresholds and noise filtering settings, greatly simplifying the addition of capacitive touch to IoT applications.

The EFM8SB1 MCUs offer a rich mix of analog and digital peripherals including a high-resolution capacitance-to-digital converter (CDC), a 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC), high-performance timers, and enhanced SPI, I2C and UART serial ports. These and other analog/mixed-signal peripherals are all easily configurable and accessible to developers through Silicon Labs' patented crossbar technology. 

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