In a major leap forward for sensor-based products, NXP Semiconductors N.V. today unveiled the LPC54100 series of microcontrollers, a breakthrough in ultra-low power performance for "always-on" sensor processing. With patented, market-proven architectural innovations, the series achieves unmatched power efficiency and consumes an average of 20 percent less power than its closest competitors.
Crucial for always-on applications, the LPC54100 series requires as little as 3µA for continuous sensor listening. A first for sensor applications, its asymmetric dual-core architecture enables scalable active power/performance that enables developers to optimize power efficiency by using the 55 µA/MHz Cortex-M0+ core for sensor data collection, aggregation, and external communications, or the Cortex-M4F core (100 µA/MHz) to execute math-intensive algorithms (i.e., motion sensor fusion) more quickly while saving power.
This architecture is complemented by a range of analog and digital interfaces designed from the ground up for power efficiency — including a 12-bit, 4.8 Msps ADC capable of full-spec performance at the full voltage range (1.62 to 3.6 V), as well as low-power serial interfaces — enabling the LPC54100 series to offer the lowest power consumption for sensor processing than any other microcontroller in its class.
"The advanced features appearing in mobile devices today such as context-, location-, and environment-awareness; motion-, touch-, and gesture-based interaction, even voice activation are made possible by the growing number of 'always-on' sensors," said Jim Trent, vice president and general manager, microcontrollers business line, NXP Semiconductors. "In the near future, other industries will make similar strides by requiring mobile phone product features to enhance their customer's experience. Today, many older MCU sensor-processing architectures are just too power hungry or do not scale efficiently as the number of sensors increase. The LPC54100 series enables any industry to benefit from the smarter, more user-centric experience that sensors can bring."
The LPC54100 Series targets products in mobile, wearable health/fitness, industrial applications (environmental monitoring, home and building automation lighting, and robotics), gaming, or other use cases that require long battery life as a key driver to enhance the end-user experience.
Collaborative sensor processing solutions and developers ecosystem
To enable embedded developers to bring sensor-based designs to market quickly, NXP partnered with strategic manufacturers and sensor-processing middleware providers, including Bosch Sensortec, CyWee Motion, Hillcrest Labs, and others. NXP has also partnered with Bosch Sensortec to offer an application-in-a-box Sensor Processing/Motion Solution that combines an LPC54102 microcontroller, nine popular sensors, including Bosch Sensortec's motion and pressure sensors and sensor fusion middleware, and NXP's LPCXpresso development platform and support. The solution makes it simple for customers to enhance next-generation products by incorporating motion and other sensor-based features.
"This is a great time for sensors and sensor-enabled products," said Stefan Finkbeiner, CEO of Bosch Sensortec. "We have worked diligently with NXP on their Sensor Processing/Motion Solution to provide an integrated development platform to make it easy for customers to create and validate their new sensor-based designs."
"We are excited to see the low power advancements made in NXP's LPC54100 series," said Shunnan Liou, general manager for CyweeMotion. "Sensor use is increasing across many product platforms and with the LPC54100, sensor use can expand into low-power designs offering customers an improved experience."
"Hillcrest Labs is delighted to partner with NXP to deliver innovative sensor-enabled user experiences for mobile and wearable devices," said Dan Simpkins, CEO of Hillcrest Labs. "The power efficient and extensive DSP instruction set of the LPC54100 provides an ideal platform for our state of the art sensor processing software enabling 'always-on' context detection and activity tracking for the next-generation of sensor-enabled devices."
Availability and Demonstration
The LPC54100 series will be available in WLCSP49 (3.2 x 3.2 mm) and LQFP64 (10 x 10 mm) packages in Q1, 2015 with pricing starting at USD $1.99 in 10K quantities. The Sensor Processing/Motion Solution and LPCXpresso evaluation board are available now through NXP-authorized distributors.
The breakthrough efficiency of the LPC54100 Series for always-on sensor processing will be demonstrated in the NXP booth #524 and #525, in hall A4 at the Electronica 2014 Show in Munich, Germany, November 11-14, 2014.