Ultra-low-power MCUs offer long-term operation with compact low-capacity batteries

September 10, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Lapis Semiconductor, part of the Rohm group, has announced ultra-low power microcontrollers designed for devices such as watches or security tokens that require long-term operation using coin or dry-cell batteries.

The ML610Q474 family has current consumption of 0.25 µA in Halt mode – 50% lower than conventional products – along with high noise immunity.

Security tokens used to generate one-time passwords for the rapidly expanding internet banking market or battery-driven applications such as watches and clocks demand stable operation for years powered with just a single button battery. The ML610Q470 series integrates an internal regulator and oscillator circuit and adopts proprietary low-leakage current processes. In addition, high noise immunity comes from novel internal circuitry and layout (clearing ±30 kV during IEC61000-4-2 noise immunity testing), unlike conventional devices that were prone to noise-induced malfunction when the current consumption was lowered. This combination of low current consumption and high noise immunity makes stable long-term operation possible using inexpensive low-capacity coin cell batteries, contributing to lower costs and smaller form factors.

A total support system including an ML610Q474 reference board and software development environment is provided to facilitate evaluation. Additional support tools such as user manuals and tools are offered online. The chips have 16 kB of Flash memory, or 16 kB ofROM, depending on version, and have 1 kB of RAM; they come as bare die, or in 80pin TQFP.

Rohm; www.rohm.com/eu