Energy Micro has added a generic low-energy sensor interface to its EFM32 microcontroller product family. The LESENSE function block enables autonomous monitoring of up to 16 external sensors in the microcontroller's sub-microamp Deep Sleep mode.
LESENSE can run independently of the EFM32's ARM Cortex-M3 core, and can be used to create highly integrated, ultra low power sensor solutions. Particularly suitable for battery operated systems, the sensor interface is designed to operate with virtually any type of analog sensor control scheme, including capacitive, inductive and resistive types.
LESENSE can be configured to support autonomous capacitive touch pad- and slider-based products, as well as gas and water metering products relying on inductive rotation sensors.
The LESENSE function block will first be available in Energy Micro's Tiny Gecko microcontroller family, sampling and in volume during Q1 2011. Pin- and software-compatible with the bigger Gecko microcontrollers, the Tiny Gecko provides users with a wide range of low-power peripheral function blocks, including an 8-channel, 12-bit ADC using 350µA at full resolution and 1Msamples/sec conversion rate, a low energy UART consuming as little as 150nA, and a new 8x20 segment LCD controller.
Later in 2011, the Giant Gecko microcontroller family, offering Flash up to 1MB and USB connectivity, will also include the new LESENSE functionality.
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