Ambiq Micro's Ultra-low Power MCU Smashes Through EEMBC® ULPBench™ Ceiling, Doubling the Highest Score on Record

Apollo microcontroller achieves benchmark score of 377, more than twice the previous leader's submission of 185

Nov 12, 2015, 09:30 ET from Ambiq Micro

AUSTIN, Texas, November 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

Ambiq Micro, the leader in ultra-low power semiconductor solutions, today announced that its Apollo MCU has made history as a microcontroller that consumes less than half the energy of any other when tested to the industry-standard EEMBC ULPBench benchmark.

The benchmark, created to assist embedded designers in selecting the lowest power MCU, standardizes a typical low power design workload and measures the actual energy required to complete that workload. This approach normalizes the many different behaviors of MCU operation such as active current, sleep current, wake-up time, core efficiency, and cache efficiency. It then synthesizes this data into a single value developers truly care about - the amount of energy required to complete their specific application.

"We are tremendously excited to achieve this record benchmark result as it illustrates the clear energy saving benefits of the Ambiq Micro subthreshold design approach," says Keith Odland, Senior Director of Marketing at Ambiq Micro, "This is great news for developers of battery-powered wearables and other energy-sensitive IoT devices. It's the kind of leap in performance that's going to make the creation of completely new consumer products possible by more than doubling battery life or enabling more features to be added without increasing the power budget."

"To state that the Apollo MCU's ULPBench results are impressive is truly an understatement, providing a practical, real-world demonstration of the device's nearly ideal voltage transfer characteristics of its logic gates and reduced gate input capacitance," said Markus Levy, EEMBC President. "After completing certification by the EEMBC Technology Center, we have confirmed that the Apollo MCU scores were achieved in compliance with the ULPBench standard requirements."

The Apollo MCU is based on a high-performance, 32-bit ARM® Cortex-M4 processor with floating point unit. It runs at up to 24MHz and integrates ultra-low power memory, up to 512kB Flash and 64kB RAM. The microcontroller comes with a rich set of timing peripherals, I2C/SPI master and slave ports, and a UART for communicating with peripherals and legacy devices.

Ambiq's patented Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology (SPOT™) platform enables the Apollo MCU to achieve its best-in-class power consumption in both active-mode and sleep-mode. That's unique and the microcontroller consumes a meagre 34µA/MHz executing instructions from Flash and sleep-mode currents can be as low as 140nA.

Ambiq recently announced that the Apollo MCU is at the heart of the Misfit Shine2™ wearable fitness and sleep monitor, and that energy consumption was a key criterion for its selection by Misfit designer engineers.

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