Original Posting Date: March 2, 2013

 

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“In designing the A200, future-proofing was a key consideration and choosing the right microcontroller for the job was vital. We needed to move to a microcontroller that could give us the 32-bit data processing but at a power consumption that would deliver a battery life of 15 years. The Energy Micro (a Silicon Labs' company)’s EFM32 Gecko microcontroller gave us the performance we needed with its ARM Cortex-M core.”

- Mark England, CEO of Sentec -

 

Smart meters are designed for monitoring the consumption of energy, for instance electricity, water, or gas. In addition to monitoring, the smart meters are used to record, store, and report the power consumption for billing purposes. When a smart meter is battery-operated and placed in a difficult to reach location, it is essential for embedded designers to develop a low power solution which makes battery life as long as possible. This is typically not easy to combine with high-accuracy measurement over a long period.

 

With the EFM32 microcontrollers, designers can get access to the embedded development hardware tools which include a system called Advanced Energy Monitoring (AEM). With AEM, and the free PC software Simplicity Studio, the designers can see the actual consumption of energy and debug a program real-time without using oscilloscopes or multi-meters. AEM combines the measurements with the actual object code, and displays the result on the computer screen. In this way, the weakest point of the application can be adjusted and optimized, which makes it easier for the designers to achieve both longest possible battery life and accurate measurement.

 

Watch how AEM works:

 

Download the free Simplicity Studio and get started with the energyAware Profiler now.   

Learn more from a relevant application note: Energy Optimization

Read the case-study: How the EFM32 Leopard Gecko MCU helped Aquiba to be an ultra-low power high-end smart water meter.

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