The Wellness Measurement Microcontroller – an MCU dedicated to health monitoring

September 12, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Maxim Integrated has released the data sheet for an ARM-based microcontroller that uses an ultra-low-powered core, combined with the front-end processing appropriate to vital-signs measurements, specifically tailored for the wearable sensor/ “wellness” monitoring device market.

The MAX32600 also incorporates advanced hardware security. It is based around an ARM Cortex-M3 32-bit RISC CPU operating at up to 24 MHz, with 256 kB of flash memory, 32 kB of SRAM, a 2 kB instruction cache, and integrated high-performance analogue peripherals.

The profile of this implementation of the ARM core includes 175µA/MHz active power executing from cache, for low system power, and less than 1.0µA in low-power mode 0 (LP0).

The chip needs a digital supply voltage of 1.8V to 3.6V, and an analogue supply of 2.3V to 3.6V. There is a range of digital peripherals, timers and interfaces, including SPI and I²C; the analogue front end (AFE) includes a 16-Bit ADC with Input Mux and PGA, that can run at up to 500 ksamples/sec; a programmable-gain amplifier with gain of 1, 2, 4, and 8 and bypass mode; differential 8:1 or single-ended 16:1 input multiplexer; internal voltage reference; two 12-bit, and two 8-bit DACs; four op-amps; four low-power comparators; four analogue switches; up to eight LED drivers (100 mA) and a temperature sensor.

A 6-Channel DMA engine enables intelligent peripheral operation while the MCU core is in sleep mode. Security features for data integrity and IP protection comprise a Trust Protection Unit for End-to-End Security; an AES Hardware Engine; MAA For ECDSA and RSA; Hardware pseudo-random number generator; and fast-erase SRAM for secure key storage.

Ther is also an LCD controller to drive up to 160 segments.

You might use this device, Maxim suggests, in blood glucose metering, galvanic skin response measurement, pulse oximetry measurement or in other wearable medical devices.

Maxim Integrated; http://www.maximintegrated.com/en/products/digital/microcontrollers/MAX32600