The rise of energy-efficient microcontrollers

By Majeed Ahmad | January 2, 2017

The humble microcontroller — also the workhorse of embedded design — has long been battling the dilemma of how to raise the performance bar while conserving energy. A new generation of MCUs is finally turning a corner on energy-efficiency challenges while offering greater processing horsepower for high-end embedded designs.

Case in point is ST Micro’s STM32H743 microcontroller that boasts the ARM® Cortex®-M7 core running at 400MHz. It aims to facilitate applications like efficient motor control in smart factory, home appliances, small robots, etc.

The microcontrollers in STM32 H7 series are based on the highest performance Cortex-M core, which allows embedded developers to run more powerful motor-control algorithms. At the same time, however, these MCUs incorporate power-saving techniques to ensure energy-efficient operations.

STM32H7x3 microcontrollers implement ST’s Dynamic EfficiencyTM energy management technologies for precise optimization of power consumption. The first one is Dynamic Voltage Scaling technology that adjusts power consumption according to performance demands.

Second, the Batch Acquisition Mode technique captures data directly into memory without waking the core from energy-saving mode. Next, ST creates three memory domains to enhance the impact of the Dynamic EfficiencyTM technology.

The first memory domain D1 handles processing-intensive tasks and peripherals interconnected through a high-performance AXI bus matrix. D2 manages connectivity tasks and D3 executes functions enabled by the Batch Acquisition Mode technique.

Find out more information about tools, software, and other design resources available in the STM32H7x3 ecosystem.

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