Energy Micro extends ARM development environment to support deep-sleep mode

April 09, 2013 // By Paul Buckley
Energy Micro is introducing the Keil RTX real-time operating system (RTOS) as part of the company's Simplicity Studio tool suite.

The Keil RTX, which has been optimized for ARM Cortex-M processors to provide flexible scheduling and high-speed operation, has been extended by Energy Micro to enable an ultra-low power, deep-sleep mode between tasks.

Energy Micro has implemented an extension to the ARM Keil RTX that is referred to as a 'tickless' mode and which allows the EFM32 MCU to wake up only when needed, either at a scheduled time or on an interrupt event. This results in orders of magnitude better current consumption than competing solutions based on using the system timer, SysTick, which require a constantly running, high frequency clock. With RTX RTOS, EFM32 users can now enter a deep sleep mode, consuming less than 1 uA, between normal active operations.

“Energy Micro can deliver more advanced functionality by offering a real-time operating system, and it is one of the first companies to combine this with a 'tickless' extension,” said Reinhard Keil, director of MCU Tools, System Design Division, ARM. “ARM is focused on helping its partners achieve higher performance and lower power solutions. We are therefore pleased that by running the RTOS on its low-energy EFM32 microcontrollers, Energy Micro has demonstrated the potential of ARM Keil RTX for ultra-low power operation.”

Energy Micro’s VP of Simplicity, Øyvind Grotmol, added: "The ARM Keil RTX is a widely renowned RTOS, and we are pleased that our EFM32 customers now have a commercial grade RTOS available for free, including advanced power management capabilities and optimized for the ARM architecture."

Keil RTX is provided with full source code under a BSD license that is free of charge for everyone, including for commercial usage. For easy portability, the Keil RTX implements the RTOS API of the ARM Cortex Microcontroller Software Interface Standard (CMSIS). Keil RTX is available for all of Energy Micro’s EFM32 MCU families via the Simplicity Studio software suite.

Simplicity Studio is a free and complete tools suite providing instant, 'one-click'