NanoWatt XLP Microcontrollers Sip Power

It wasn't too long ago when we were expecting next generation GPUs to require external power bricks just to ensure that one's PSU didn't melt while trying to survive an hour-long Crysis session. Now, it seems that the all-encompassing 'green' initiative is pushing the power saving mantra all the way down to the smallest components known to man. Case in point: Microchip Technology has just introduced its next gen low-power PC microcontroller (MCU) families with nanoWatt XLP eXtreme Low Power Technology for sleep currents as low as 20 nA. These three new 8- and 16-bit MCU families join three other recent 8-bit families that are all part of Microchip’s nanoWatt XLP portfolio, providing designers with a rich and compatible low-power migration path that includes on-chip peripherals for USB and mTouch sensing solutions. Best of all, the low power nature makes 'em ideal for any battery-powered or power-constrained application.

Tony Massimini, chief of technology at Semico Research Corporation, gloated about the advancements pretty heavily: "Microchip’s new nanoWatt XLP families of PIC microcontrollers have surpassed the competition by a substantial margin to offer a new industry benchmark for the lowest sleep current consumption. When you factor in the integration of EEPROM, oscillators, USB and capacitive touch sensing peripherals, the potential reduction in system-level power consumption is quite substantial."

The three most prominent nanoWatt XLP technology advantages are as follows:
Sleep currents down to 20 nA, Real-Time Clock currents down to 500 nA, and Watchdog Timer currents down to 400 nA. The vast majority of low-power applications require one or more of these features. nanoWatt XLP Technology combines all three in a comprehensive portfolio of devices. Whether it is extended battery life, sealed batteries, or the integration of energy harvesting, Microchip’s 8- and 16-bit PIC MCUs with nanoWatt XLP Technology provide more freedom for designers that need their products to operate longer using less power, or requiring fewer battery changes.