Microchip – Going to Extremes with eXtreme Low-Power Technology (XLP)

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The high-performance PIC32MX family of microcontrollers from Microchip Technology now features eXtreme low-power technology. The low-cost PIC32MX1/2 XLP devices deliver increased performance at lower operating, Sleep and Deep-Sleep currents.

Energy conservation is a major concern to developers of today’s connected applications. Wearable technology, wireless sensor networks and other smart connected devices need to consume as little power as possible and, in extreme cases, need to be able to run from a single battery for 20 years or longer. To enable these types of applications, Microchip offers a range of microcontrollers (MCUs) with eXtreme low-power (XLP) technology. These devices offer the industry’s lowest currents for run and sleep, where extreme low-power applications spend 90% to 99% of their time.

If you have been successfully using Microchip’s 32-bit PIC32MX family, you can now take advantage of XLP technology for your wearable and other low-power connected designs. The new PIC32MX1/2 XLP family offers you an easy migration path, with little code rework needed to achieve higher performance at much lower power. These MCUs deliver increased functionality as well as longer battery life in portable applications.

XLP technology enables Sleep and Deep Sleep shutdown states on the PIC32MX1/2 XLP MCUs, with Deep Sleep currents as low as 673nA. As a result, these new MCUs offer over 40% higher performance than devices in the existing PIC32MX1/2 portfolio, while reducing average run currents by 50%.

The low-cost family also offers a range of memory configurations with 128/256KB Flash and 32/64KB of RAM in packages ranging from 28 to 44-pins. They also include a diverse set of peripherals including I2S for digital audio, 116DMIPS performance for executing audio and advanced control applications, a 10-bit 1Msps 13-channel ADC, mTouch® capacitive touch-sensing and serial communications peripherals. The PIC32MX2 series also supports USB device, host and OTG functionality.


Development Support

You can jump start your low-power application development with the PIC32MX XLP Starter Kit (DM320105). This fully integrated platform features a high-performance, 72MHz PIC32MX254F256 MCU with 256KB Flash, 64KB of RAM and Full Speed USB functionality. The PIC32MX XLP development board also includes an integrated programmer/debugger and is fully supported by MPLAB® X Integrated Development Environment (IDE). The starter kit also supports Bluetooth® Low Energy connectivity, and it comes with a 9-axis accelerometer, light sensor and barometric sensor to enable the development of a variety of Internet of Things (IoT) and other low power applications. The on-board mikroBUS™ expansion socket allows you to easily add a variety of click boards™ from MicroElektronika to expand the functionality of your design, while the Microchip X32 header will help accelerate your prototype development.

The PIC32MX1/MX2 XLP MCUs are also supported by the MPLAB Harmony Software Development Framework, which simplifies development cycles by integrating the license, resale and support of Microchip and third-party middleware, drivers, libraries and RTOSs. Microchip‘s readily available software packages, such as Bluetooth audio development suites, audio equalizer filter libraries, decoders (including AAC, MP3, SBC), sample rate conversion libraries and USB stacks, will significantly reduce your development time in creating digital audio, consumer, industrial and general-purpose embedded control applications.

PIC32MX XLP Starter Kit (DM320105)


*The original article appeared in the Sept/Oct 2017 issue of Microchip’s digital magazine, MicroSolutions.