Ultra-low-power MCU with BLE for IoT shrinks BOM costs by up to 33%

27-07-2020 | Maxim | Semiconductors

Designers of wirelessly connected, coin cell-operated IoT products can now reduce BOM costs by a third while also saving space and battery life with the MAX32666 MCU from Maxim Integrated Products. This ultra-low-power dual Arm Cortex-M4 MCU with FPU and BLE 5.2 increases the device’s battery life by combining robust memory, communications, security, power management and processing functions usually achieved by multiple MCUs into a single device.

This MCU is the latest addition to the company’s smart, function-rich DARWIN family of high-performance MCUs. In contrast to conventional architectures, this MCU decreases form factor and design footprint, allowing IoT device designers to lower BOM costs by combining up to three sockets found in their current designs. This dual Cortex-M4F MCU gives efficient computation of complex functions, working at up to 96MHz, which speeds up data processing by 50% over the nearest competitor. To replace the requirement for a separate PMIC, the device offers an integrated SIMO regulator, which extends the life for small-sized battery applications. The MCU provides BLE 5.2, supports up to 2Mbps of data throughput and long-range (125kbps and 500kbps) and allows transceiver output power of +4.5dBm programmable down to -95dBm. The device also protects applications from cybersecurity threats with TPU and big math acceleration for fast Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA).

“The robust installed base of IoT devices is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12% per year through 2030 (from 2015) when it will reach more than 80 billion units,” said Julian Watson, principal analyst, IoT at Omdia. “The critical component for sustaining the growth rate is the continued ability to add functionality for these devices while improving efficiency so that end-users will appreciate their value and convenience. Clearly, Maxim Integrated is aiming to advance IoT ubiquity with its new family of DARWIN microcontrollers.”

“It’s possible to keep adding microcontrollers to any IoT application, but frequent battery replacements conflict with end-user utility and convenience,” said Kris Ardis, executive director for the Micros, Security and Software Business Unit at Maxim Integrated. “By applying the power-saving advantages of wearable technology to the broader spectrum of IoT applications, this new family of processors reduces battery replacements and improves computing performance.”

By Natasha Shek