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Maxim chips increase sensor life and functionality

Steve Rogerson
April 17. 2018

Designers of IoT sensors, environmental sensors, smartwatches, medical and preventive health wearables, and other size-constrained devices can increase battery life and functionality using the Max 32660 and 32652 microcontrollers, according to manufacturer Maxim Integrated.
These microcontrollers (MCUs) are based on the Arm Cortex-M4 with FPU processor and provide designers the means to develop applications under restrictive power constraints. California-based Maxim's family of Darwin MCUs combine wearable-grade power technology with the claimed biggest embedded memories in their class and embedded security.
Memory, size, power consumption and processing power are critical features for engineers designing more complex algorithms for smarter IoT applications. Existing products often provide two extremes – they either have decent power consumption but limited processing and memory capabilities, or they have higher power consumption with more powerful processors and more memory.
The Max 32660 is said to hit a sweet spot, giving designers access to enough memory to run advanced algorithms and manage sensors – 256kbyte flash and 96kbyte SRAM. They also have power performance down to 50mW/MHz in a 1.6 by 1.6mm WLP package.
This, says the company, lets engineers build more intelligent sensors and systems that are smaller and lower in cost, while also providing a longer battery life.
As IoT devices become more intelligent, they start requiring more memory and additional embedded processors, which can be very expensive and power hungry. The Max 32652 provides an alternative for designers who can benefit from the low power consumption of an embedded microcontroller with the capabilities of a higher powered applications processor.
With 3Mbyte flash and 1Mbyte SRAM integrated on-chip and running up to 120MHz, the Max 32652 suits IoT devices that strive to do more processing and provide more intelligence. Integrated high-speed peripherals include USB 2.0, SD card controller, TFT display and a complete security engine. With the added capability to run from external memories over HyperBus or XcellaBus, the device can be designed to do even more, providing designers a future-proof memory architecture and anticipating the increasing demands of smart devices.
"These microcontrollers offer advanced features that enable designers to grow their applications beyond what they can currently do," said Prem Nayar, director at Maxim Integrated. "Designers used to have to prioritise two out of these three key features: lower power, better performance or better system cost. With our new low power microcontrollers, they can choose all three."