EFM32howto 6. How to create cost-effective industrial automation devices?


“Combining Tiny Gecko with energy harvesting technology demonstrates that a modern 32-bit processor is the right solution for cost- and space-sensitive energy-efficient applications such as wireless switchgear”

– Andreas Schenk, Product Manager Wireless of Steute –

Industrial automation devices are widely used to detect, process, and respond to any changes of machinery and plant systems at production sites. With a variety of wireless sensors including temperature, pressure, vibration and motion functions, a whole production system can be managed with no need for cabling, piping, and human force. The industrial automation devices are especially useful in hazardous locations, controlling machinery from a far distance and preventing workers from potential lethal accidents. As the production system should be operated on a 24/7 basis, it is critical to activate the sensors only under specific conditions to decrease cost of maintenance.

The EFM32 microcontroller features 5 efficient energy modes, from Energy Mode 0 (EM0) which is an active mode with all peripherals selectable to Energy Mode 4 (EM4) which is a shut off mode where most of peripherals are inactive. With an intelligent combination of peripherals, designers can have the flexibility to optimize industrial automation devices with high performance and low energy consumption range from 150uA (EM0) to 20nA (EM4). As a result, a sensor can be powered by sustainable energy sources.  By harvesting for instance vibration, magnetism or temperature, the designer can completely replace regular batteries while maintaining full functionality. Furthermore, the system designers can operate their applications without using the CPU with a high range of autonomous peripherals including LCD, real time counter, and low energy UART in the low energy modes.

Watch and learn how to enable the Energy Modes

Download a relevant application note: Energy Modes

Learn more about how each Energy Mode works:

Read the case-study: How the EFM32 Tiny Gecko helped Steute’s RF95 become a low energy wireless industrial switch 

Any Technical Questions? Find your answer on our forum!

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