Lowest Sleep Power Atmel 32-bit MCU?

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Hi,

 I have been scouring the Atmel website, product Datasheets and product User Manuals for about 20+ minutes now and give in, what is the lowest sleep power Atmel 32-bit MCU...!!?

 

Question

What is the lowest sleep power for a 32-bit Atmel MCU?

 

Supplementary Question

Where is this information located?

 

 

This is embarrassing to ask, thank you for any input! :)

 

 

This topic has a solution.
Last Edited: Thu. Aug 18, 2016 - 03:07 PM
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It depends.
The processor with the lowest power consumption might not have all the peripherals/features you require.
All processors have several sleep-modes that differ as to which clocks and/or sub-systems are stopped.
Some sleep-modes have low consumption but need a long wake-up time.

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Hi,

 Nope it does not 'depend' for me in the current configuration and scenario, my apologies :). I am a senior advanced embedded firmware architect, surveying and prospecting the microprocessor and microcontroller landscape of options for upcoming work.

 

Some clarification responses to your content -

 

  • The processor with the lowest power consumption might not have all the peripherals/features you require
    • I am not at this step in the research process, I am at a much earlier seat in the process!
    • I am at an mcu-family surveying step, understanding the feel to the landscape. Not the context (meat), just the structure (fragrance & shape)

 

  • All processors have several sleep-modes that differ as to which clocks and/or sub-systems are stopped
    • I am not looking for modes, states or use cases, more simple than that. Just simply, "lowest sleep power, or quiescent current" :)

 

  • Some sleep-modes have low consumption but need a long wake-up time
    • A metric and feature which falls outside the bounds of my current inquiry, and as such does not apply :)!

 

If I have any items wrong please let me know! :)

 

 

Last Edited: Wed. Aug 17, 2016 - 04:02 AM
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justinmreina wrote:

    • I am not looking for modes, states or use cases, more simple than that. Just simply, "lowest sleep power, or quiescent current" :)

 

Google suggests a few uA is possible, in deep sleep modes, ... and leads to this 

http://www.atmel.com/technologie...

 

That suggests something with 'L' in the part code is worth a look.

From there, you need to decide just how much you need 'alive' - to drive under 1uA, often things like BOD are disabled, and Oscillator precision is poorer at lower powers.

 

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Who-me wrote:
Google suggests a few uA is possible, in deep sleep modes, ...
An order of magnitude less does exist though am not certain it has arrived at some distributors and not certain about its performance at "high" temperature.

Home

Ambiq Micro

Ultra-Low Power Microcontroller

Apollo MCUs

http://ambiqmicro.com/low-power-microcontroller

http://ambiqmicro.com/apollo-ultra-low-power-mcus/

http://ambiqmicro.com/news/ambiq-micro-announces-world%E2%80%99s-lowest-power-microcontroller-now-volume-production

http://ambiqmicro.com/press-releases/ambiq-micro-announces-worlds-lowest-power-microcontroller-now-volume-production/

http://ambiqmicro.com/news/accelerating-ultra-low-power-design-apollo-dev-kits (it's 404)

 

Apollo2 is at distributors and it's in the Apache Mynewt RTOS :

Apache Mynewt

About

http://mynewt.apache.org/about/

https://www.digikey.com/en/supplier-centers/a/ambiq-micro

 

Alternatively, Ambiq Micro does sell their ultra low current RTC to second parties for packaging, testing, etc.

Some of those RTC can power cycle an MCU and such.

http://www.abracon.com/products.php?search=rtc&type=RTC%20IC%20-%20Ultra%20Low%20Power

http://www.mouser.com/new/abracon/abracon-ab08xx/

 

Edit: 1. corrected some 404, Apollo2, Mynewt

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

Last Edited: Tue. Mar 27, 2018 - 04:36 AM
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Before you hunt the last uA make sure that no other things on the PCB use more power.

 

3V over a 100K resistor take 30uA! 

This reply has been marked as the solution. 
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The AT32UC3A datasheet says 14uA in static mode. I don't think UC3 is really designed for ultra low power, it's more of a performance device.

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UC3L is about an order of magnitude less with a 32KHz clock and an async timer.

http://www.atmel.com/devices/AT32UC3L0256.aspx

http://www.atmel.com/Images/Atmel-32145-32-bit-Flash-MCU-UCL0_datasheet.pdf (go to page 794 for the shutdown mode)

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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Nice, 5V tolerant I/O as well. I'm designing a project with a UC3A at the moment, I think this range is worth looking at in more depth. Lets hope it continues to develop under Microchip.

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mojo-chan wrote:
I'm designing a project with a UC3A at the moment, ...
fyi, another UC3A project :

https://github.com/Nitrokey/nitrokey-storage-firmware

mojo-chan wrote:
I think this range is worth looking at in more depth.
UC3C and UC3L are third generation UC3; added are FlashVault and single-precision floating point.

mojo-chan wrote:
Lets hope it continues to develop under Microchip.
That would be surprising :

  • UC3 is legacy
  • UC3 competes with PIC32 which has had a major architecture upgrade

https://www.microchip.com/en/pressreleasepage/microchip-launches-lowest-power-cost-effective-pic32-family (PIC32MM, 500nA sleep, up to 64KB)
http://ww1.microchip.com/downloads/pr_archive/en/high-performance-32-bit-mcu-fa.pdf (PIC32MZ, automotive)

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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I need 5V I/O and EBI, which is why I selected the UC3A. It's one of the very few available parts that has both. There are a few ARMs too. Apparently my requirements are quite unusual.

 

It would be a shame if Atmel did stop developing various lines, because it puts almost everything except for the SAM and specialist stuff at risk. XMEGA, most of the Tiny and Mega ranges, all competing with Microchip's lines. All are looking a bit "legacy" with a lack of development lately.

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mojo-chan wrote:
with a lack of development lately.
More to the point is the stupid price inflation of some parts since MCHP took over - clearly wanting to persuade people down other routes I guess. (or they are just money grabbers?)

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There are still lots of superior Atmel parts, and MPLAB X is pretty terrible. It's so bad that the other firmware engineers here do all their development in Visual Studio, with hacks to make it compile on desktop, and only use MPLAB for in-circuit debugging.

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mojo-chan wrote:
I need 5V I/O and EBI, ... Apparently my requirements are quite unusual.
Some of the level translation chips come in tiny packages.

There are also companion chips that can mate your preferred MCU to the required I/O levels.

mojo-chan wrote:
XMEGA, most of the Tiny and Mega ranges, all competing with Microchip's lines. All are looking a bit "legacy" with a lack of development lately.
New are :

  • tiny10 follow-on in tiny102 and tiny104
  • PA mega follow-on in PB

Silego Technology

GreenPAK: Programmable Mixed-signal Matrix

Dual Supply GreenPAK

http://www.silego.com/products/greenpak_dualsupply.html

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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PIC32 and MPLAB X?

Though the following won't have debugging for PIC32 it does have programming via pic32prog (GPLv2) :

PlatformIO

An open source ecosystem for IoT development

Platform microchippic32

PlatformIO 2.11.2 documentation

http://docs.platformio.org/en/stable/platforms/microchippic32.html

They'll be able to continue operating Visual Studio.
http://docs.platformio.org/en/stable/ide/visualstudio.html

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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gchapman wrote:

There are also companion chips that can mate your preferred MCU to the required I/O levels.

 

I did consider level translation, but with an 8Mb memory that's about 32 I/O lines that need it, and some of them are bi-di, and they all need to be tri-state capable. And space is an issue, as is hand soldering. Believe me, UC3A is the best option.

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Wow, thank you mojo-chan, you've helped me correct my searching methodology and find the correct parameters and reported values!! :)!

 

Key

Look to the Datasheet in the 'Power Consumption' section into the 'Power Consumption of Different Modes' table for the 'Static Mode'

 

Results

I took a moderate selection of 32-bit Atmel MCUs, and extracted their lowest 'Static Mode' current values. This was a selection of the

units which I thought may be lowest power (e.g. all picoPower, etc.)

 

         Atmel 32-bit MCUs Ic [nA] Page File Loc Subsection
  ATSAML21 160 1153 46.6 Power Consumption Table 46-8. Standby, Backup and Off Mode Current Consumption
  ATUC256 220 900 35.4 Power Consumption Table 35-5. Power Consumption of Different Modes
  ATSAM4L 900 104 9.5 Power Consumption Table 9-6. ATSAM4L4/2 Current consumption and Wakeup time for power scaling mode 0 and 2
  ATSAMD09 2.2k 646 30.6 Power Consumption Table 30-7. Current Consumption
  ATUC128/ATUC64 3.5k 718 32.5 Power Consumption Table 32-4. Power Consumption of Different Operating Modes
  AT32UC3 14k 769 38.5 Power Consumption Table 38-9. Power Consumption of Different Modes
  ATSAMG51 200k 836 34.3 Power Consumption Table 34-10. Typical Sleep Mode Current Consumption versus Master Clock (MCK) Variation with Fast RC

 

From what I've found, it appears then that the ATSAML21 is the lowest power consumption unit, 160nA @ 1.8V!

 

Thanks mojo-chan!! :)

 

 

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No worries. It's a bit of an art reading those datasheets. You have to jump around a bit, or open multiple windows. Okay, so 160nA at 1.8V, amazing, but only in static mode... What is static mode, what wake-up options are there, can the USART detect a start-of-frame in that mode? You also have to look at the power consumption of other peripherals, like say the RTC can run in that mode, if you enable it then it's 160nA + whatever the RTC takes.

 

I keep thinking I should do some videos about this on YouTube, but probably no-one would watch them. It's all Arduinos where 1mA is "low power" :-)

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mojo-chan wrote:
I need 5V I/O and EBI, which is why I selected the UC3A. It's one of the very few available parts that has both. There are a few ARMs too. Apparently my requirements are quite unusual.

 

Did you look at the Nuvton ARM's ? - their selector shows EBI and 5V operation, for M0 and M4 models, and the newer ones have a VccIO for 1.8~5.5V IO (ie include a level translator at the pins)

 

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justinmreina wrote:
From what I've found, it appears then that the ATSAML21 is the lowest power consumption unit, 160nA @ 1.8V!

 

Are those numbers Static / All Clocks Stopped ?

That means something else is doing the wake-up action ?

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Yep, static & stopped, denoted 'OFF'

   

 

This may be a hard shut-down though, it seems the only way to proceed out of this state is a RESET. Not sure...

 

 

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RESET to exit the OFF mode.
http://www.atmel.com/Images/Atmel-42385-SAM-L21-Datasheet.pdf (go to mid page 200 for "Exiting OFF mode: ")

UC3L exits SHUTDOWN (no 32KHz) via RESET or WAKE signals.

PIC32MM at 440nA 840nA typical (25C) powers the real-time clock and a timer at 1 volt; can wake-up by those.

http://www.microchip.com/wwwproducts/en/PIC32MM0064GPL020 (datasheet page 177 for "22.0 POWER-SAVING FEATURES")

Edit : strike-thrus

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

Last Edited: Fri. Aug 19, 2016 - 06:13 AM
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The UC3L can do 800nA with both an external 32KHz RTC and its internal 1KHz clock that is used for brown-out detection and the watchdog, and that's at 1.8V.

 

The link you provided says "2 μA for lowest Sleep Mode with RTCC" for the PIC32MM, so I guess there are some caveats in the datasheet... Maybe it's using an internal RC oscillator rather than a more accurate external one for the RTC?

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Who-me wrote:

Did you look at the Nuvton ARM's ? - their selector shows EBI and 5V operation, for M0 and M4 models, and the newer ones have a VccIO for 1.8~5.5V IO (ie include a level translator at the pins)

 

It's not worth learning new tools, new board support packages, new driver code and new hardware requirements, plus all the new manufacturer specific quirks for this project.

 

Where Atmel and to a lesser extent Microchip excel is in making the cost of entry to their product ranges, in terms of time spent learning, fairly low. On the Nuvton web site, I click on "development tool" and get this useless list of crap: http://www.nuvoton.com/hq/produc...

 

Eventually I find this page: http://www.nuvoton.com/opencms/p...

 

There is a BSP, a datasheet and some training material in Chinese. Not even an evaluation board. Nah, I'm not going to waste my time figuring it out.

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mojo-chan wrote:
The link you provided says "2 μA for lowest Sleep Mode with RTCC" for the PIC32MM, so I guess there are some caveats in the datasheet...
A base current for RAM retention then additional current for what's on during power-down (RTCC, watchdog, BOR (low power or not), etc).

mojo-chan wrote:
Maybe it's using an internal RC oscillator rather than a more accurate external one for the RTC?
The RTC can be clocked by internal RC, external oscillator, or internal oscillator with a crystal (about double the RC oscillator's current).

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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mojo-chan wrote:
On the Nuvton web site, I click on "development tool" and get this useless list of crap:

But the whole point is that it's Cortex. You can use any IDE/compiler of choice for Cortex CMSIS development - you don't need to be tied to some rubbish the manufacturer might be suggesting EXCEPT when it comes to peripheral support libraries. A bit like Atmel ASF - you may be looking at something dreadful in terms of support lib for a particular set of Cortex peripherals. In fact part of the selection procedure for a given Cortex solution may actually hinge on how good the manufacturer supplied peripheral lib is.

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clawson wrote:

But the whole point is that it's Cortex. You can use any IDE/compiler of choice for Cortex CMSIS development - you don't need to be tied to some rubbish the manufacturer might be suggesting EXCEPT when it comes to peripheral support libraries. A bit like Atmel ASF - you may be looking at something dreadful in terms of support lib for a particular set of Cortex peripherals. In fact part of the selection procedure for a given Cortex solution may actually hinge on how good the manufacturer supplied peripheral lib is.

 

That's what I meant. Their BSP and documentation seem to be crap and example/tutorial code hard to find. I could be wrong, it might be amazing, especially if you speak Chinese, but I'm not going to waste my time finding out in this instance. Maybe if it was a major project that merited the time investment.

 

The other issue is that their English forum has less than 300 posts in it. The Chinese side is doing well though. I find forums are often better than the official support channels (I'm looking at you Atmel). Maybe in a few years they will have built the English side up and it will be more attractive.

 

I sometimes use Japanese parts because I can read Japanese datasheets and forums. I wouldn't recommend H8 to people who only speak English though. It's just one of those things.