Microchip SAM L Series Microcontrollers
Microchip's SAM L Series MCUs are ultra-low-power Arm Cortex-M0+ based MCUs that are designed specifically for IoT and to enable applications with a battery life of 10 or more years.
This is possible because the MCUs integrate a sophisticated power manager and peripherals that minimize power consumption.
The power manager offers two software selectable performance levels: one that is optimized for efficiency and one that is optimized for performance. The power manager will adjust the output of the internal voltage regulator based on the performance level selected. The performance level also determines the maximum operating frequency and maximum current consumption in µA/MHz. Another power saving feature of the power manager is power domain gating. There are three switchable peripheral power domains, and the power manager will shut down unused domain supplies to reduce leakage current. This is all handled automatically by the hardware.
Outside of the power manager, the SAM L Series MCUs includes a number of power-saving peripherals. The hardware peripheral touch controller, or PTC, provides low power, high sensitivity, and robust capacitive touch functionality. The PTC operates autonomously from the CPU with a non-blocking interrupt to lower CPU utilization, and it offers the lowest standby power consumption, consuming just 4 µA on standby while supporting multi-button wake-up on touch.
There is also a twelve channel event system, and this allows autonomous, low-latency, and configurable communication between peripherals without CPU intervention, and this further reduces the load on the CPU and power consumption. Peripherals can be configured to generate or respond to events—or both. And the event system supports synchronous or asynchronous events.
Sleepwalking is a capability that temporarily wakes up clocks for a peripheral to perform a task without waking the CPU. This is supported by dynamic or static power domain gating, and once the task is complete, the peripheral can wake up the CPU with an interrupt or return to standby.
Now, the microchip SAM L series can operate at up to 48 MHz, with a 2.46 CoreMark/MHz. MCUs are available with up to 256 KB of flash and 40 KB of SRAM, and they offer a full suite of advanced features, including hardware peripheral touch and proximity sensing, an AES encryption engine, full-speed USB, a six-channel serial communication module, and a 16-channel DMA. On the SAM L21, you also get three op-amps, and on the SAM L22, you get an 8x40 segment LCD controller and anti-tamper detection. The MCUs are offered in multiple packages, including the ultra-small WLCSP, and you can easily migrate between devices in the SAM L series. They are also compatible with the Microchip SAM D series.
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