Low Power

 

Reduce power consumption while maintaining performance!

Atmel® has been focusing on low power consumption for more than ten years across its portfolio of AVR® and ARM®-based microcontrollers and embedded microprocessors. Some of the design techniques used to achieve this are:

  • Use of hardware DMA and event system to offload the CPU
  • Cut clock or supply on device portions not in use
  • Careful balance of high performance and low leakage transistors
  • Fast wake up from low power modes
  • Low voltage operation

With the Atmel picoPower® technology found in our Atmel AVR 8-bit and 32-bit microcontrollers, we've even gone one step further. Below you can read more about picoPower technology, and learn how to use it through high-level design examples and in-depth application notes with code examples. You can also download recorded webinars or sign up for a hands-on picoPower seminar. Go ahead - dive in.

 

picoPower Technology

All picoPower devices are designed from the ground up for lowest possible power consumption. All the way from transistor design and process geometry, to sleepmodes and flexible clocking options. Atmel picoPower devices can operate down to 1.62V while still maintaining all functionality, including analog functions. They have short wake-up time, with multiple wake-up sources from even the deepest sleep modes.

Some elements of picoPower technology cannot be directly manipulated by the user, but they form a solid base that enables ultra-low-power application development without compromising functionality. On the user level, flexible and powerful features and peripherals allow you to apply a wide range of techniques to reduce your system’s total power consumption even further. Read more

 

Design Examples

picoPower technology is easy to use. On the user level there are both basic and advanced techniques, that will reduce the power consumption of your application even further. Through high-level design example videos, and in-depth application notes with code examples, we will show you how to do it. Read more  

 

0.7V tinyAVR®

A typical microcontroller requires at least 1.8V to operate, while the voltage of a single battery-cell typically ranges from 1.2V to 1.5V when fully charged, and then drops gradually below 1V during use, still holding a reasonable amount of charge. This means a regular microcontroller needs at least two battery cells.



Atmel has solved this problem by integrating a boost converter inside the ATtiny43U, converting a DC voltage to a higher level, and bridging the gap between minimum supply voltage of the microcontroller and the typical output voltages of a standard single cell battery. The boost converter provides the microcontroller with a fixed supply voltage of 3.0V from a single battery cell even when the battery voltage drops down to 0.7V.

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This allows non-rechargeable batteries to be drained to the minimum, thus extending the battery life. Programmable shut-off levels above the critical minimum voltage level avoid damaging the battery cell of rechargeable batteries.


For more information on how to use our 0.7V tinyAVR®, please consult the following application notes: AVR188,AVR652, AVR602.