Analog Devices configures ultra-low-power MCU for sensor data duties

March 15, 2017 // By Graham Prophet
Analog Devices has built a microcontroller around an ARM Cortex-M4 core, with a feature set optimised for the lowest system power carrying out tasks at Internet of Things (IoT) edge nodes. Its 'ultra low power' figures allow ADI to claim a 10-fold level of system power savings, running floating-point operation in IoT applications.

The ADuCM4050 ULP MCU includes an M4 core with floating-point unit, expanded SRAM, and embedded flash memory in order to allow localized decision making and to pre-process data sent to the cloud. The MCU uses ADI's SensorStrobe technology (autonomous peripheral functions) allowing it to remain in a low power state while sensors and RF technology are still collecting data. This enables the ADuCM4050 MCU to deliver over 10 times system-level power savings that result in extended battery life or longer time between battery charges. Key feature enhancements have been added for operation in harsh environments.


Encryption features provide stronger IP protection and better protection against malware and misuse. Among these are AES 128/256, SHA 256, block ciphers for code protection, key wrap, and HMAC. The ultra low power MCU complements is pin-compatible withAnalog Devices’ ADuCM302x series of parts. The ADuCM4050 MCU targets applications where long battery life is critical, but where security, performance integrity, and the ability to pre-process and filter sensor data to eliminate artifacts and noise are also requirements. Applications include clinical vital-signs monitoring, smart energy management, and asset health/factory equipment reporting.


The ADuCM4050 supports multiple digital- and analog-sensor inputs via its SensorStrobe technology so they can be combined to analyze their data for smarter, more sophisticated functionality. Therefore, there is no need to wake up the microcontroller frequently to report routine or partial data, thus saving significant power over the long term.


The extremely low power requirements of the ADuCM4050 are seen in its 40 μA/MHz active-mode consumption, which drops to 680 nA in hibernate mode. The large amount of SRAM and flash memory – 128 kB and 512 kB, respectively – and the ability to retain almost all of the SRAM, enables it to get data ready quicker when it wakes up from hibernate (sleep) mode, another major power-saving feature.


The ADuCM4050 seamlessly works with the ultralow-power, low-g ADXL362 and the newly