Selecting Low Power Microcontrollers on Numbers Basis  


Selection of the low power microcontrollers or MCUs as per claimed current consumption descriptions could turn out to be a confusing and difficult job. In a majority of instances, developers, prior to choosing a specific MCU will initially read the datasheet’s first page to obtain prior information concerning the device. This list includes peripherals, package information, and operating speed among others. This method works excellently to find the device’s overall functionality. However, it is lacking when trying to discover low power characteristics.


Developers, if they want a full view of the low power operation, must take into account the current consumption and state retention. They must be cognizant of wake up time, peripherals, and also the wake-up sources. All factors must be able to operate in low power mode. Other important factors to take into account are extra functionality or peripherals that could reduce the total system power.


MCU vendors generally list the lowest power that can be achieved on the datasheet’s first page. Even though the device may be capable of achieving datasheet specifications, actual operating mode could be impractical in the real world application. To avoid this, developers should identify common operating mode.