In February we launched Wireless Gecko, a portfolio of multiprotocol system-on-chip (SoC) devices. With an eye toward accelerating wireless design, this announcement represents a key ingredient for developers to realize IoT market potential. A launch like this doesn’t just happen, and releasing Wireless Gecko into the wild took hundreds of people from across more than 20 disciplines located in 13 cities worldwide to realize.
But let’s go back to the start.
The idea that became the Gecko 32-bit microcontroller originated in the the most unlikely of places: on the summit of Margherita Peak, the highest point of the Ruwenzori Mountain Range in Uganda. This is where Geir Førre first had the idea to create the world’s most energy friendly microcontroller. Geir assembled a team to help realize his vision and Energy Micro was born.
Two years later, the company’s 32-bit microcontroller, the Gecko, was released. What’s a gecko and an MCU have in common? Energy efficiency, which from the beginning was the primary objective of the team. The name was inspired by the narration of Sir David Attenborough in the BBC documentary "Life in Cold Blood". Amphibians are very energy efficient, and at rest a gecko consumes only 10 percent of the energy required by similarly sized mammals. Even while appearing to be asleep, they’re conserving energy but can still quickly react to their surroundings.
Within two years, more that 160 Gecko microcontroller products were available for embedded designers, and in 2013 Silicon Labs acquired the entire EFM32 Gecko portfolio. Based on the vision of a greener, smarter, wirelessly connected world, the work that started on that mountain in Uganda continues on.