Ambiq Micro specializes in subthreshold voltage operation of digital CMOS and has already launched its Apollo1 and Apollo2 families of ARM-based microcontrollers. The Apollo microcontrollers can operate at voltages below 0.5V and the company claims that this can provide a 10-fold improvement in MCU power consumption compared with competitors' MCUs. This is mainly because power consumption scales with the square of voltage.
Ambiq's Apollo3 Blue family adds Bluetooth 5 low energy capability courtesy of an IP licensing agreement with Ceva.
The Apollo3 Blue integrates a Cortex-M4 processor with floating point math unit and can operate up to 96MHz clock frequency while lowering the active power consumption to less than 6 microamps per megahertz. It also includes a DMA engine, QSPI interface, and advanced stepper motor control for analog watch hand management and PDM microphone inputs for use in voice-command systems.
The Apollo3 Blue Plus adds two additional MSPI modules (3 total), and internal flash memory is increased from 1Mbyte to 2Mbyte and SRAM from 384kbyte to 768kbyte and the GPIO count increases from 50 to 74.
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