Introduction

At the heart of the Apollo MCUs family is Ambiq Micro’s patented Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology (SPOT™). Utilizing SPOT™ the Apollo MCUs deliver the required reduction in energy microcontrollers offer an ARM Cortex-M4F core at power levels that are even lower than competing ARM Cortex- M0+ solutions. Unrivaled power savings combined with a high-performance processing engine make the Apollo MCUs an ideal solution for battery-powered devices. With an extensive set of features to run enhanced application at an ultra-low power budget.

MCUs Selection Guide:

AmbiqMicro_Overview_Flyer_MCU.pdf

Whitepaper-A-Revolutionary-Approach-to-Eliminating-Power.pdf

Apollo1

  • MCUs
  • EVB

Apollo1 MCUs

Apollo1 MCUWith the release of the Apollo1 MCUs Ambiq Micro proved what ultra-low power design can accomplish. Since then the growing Apollo microcontroller family provides the lowest active and sleep mode power on the market. With Apollo MCUs, designers of next generation wearables and IoT devices can take their innovative products to the next level by increasing battery life, adding more intelligent sensor processing and fitting into smaller form factors.

 

 

Available Devices:

Part Number Flash RAM Package Size
APOLLO512-KCR 512KB 64KB 41-pin WLCSP 2.49 x 2.90 mm
APOLLO512-KBR 512KB 64KB 64-pin BGA 4.50 x 4.50 mm
APOLLO256-KCR 256KB 32KB 41-pin WLCSP 2.49 x 2.90 mm
APOLLO256-KBR 256KB 32KB 64-pin BGA 4.50 x 4.50 mm

 

 

 

 

Features

Ultra-low active mode power consumption: 34µA/MHz (executing from Flash)

Ultra-low sleep mode power consumption: 143nA (with RTC on)

High-performance, 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4F processor

  • Up to 24MHz clock frequency
  • Floating point unit
  • Wake-up interrupt controller with 12 interrupts

Ultra-low power memory

  • Up to 512kB Flash
  • Up to 64kB low-leakage RAM

Ultra-low power interface for off-chip sensors

  • 10-bit, 13-channel, up to 800kSps ADC
  • Temperature sensor with ±4°C accuracy

Rich set of timing peripherals

Flexible serial peripherals

  • I2C/SPI master for communication with external peripherals
  • I2C/SPI slave for optional host communications
  • UART for communication with peripherals and legacy devices

Wide operating range: 2.2 to 3.8V

Compact package options

  • 64-pin BGA with 50 GPIO
  • 41-pin CSP with 27 GPIO

Apollo1 Evaluation Board (EVB)

Apollo1 EVB The Ambiq Micro Apollo1 Evaluation Kit, or EVK, is the best place to start when designing with the Apollo 1 MCU. The EVK system contains already an on-board Segger JLINK Debugger and routes all available GPIOs to Arduino compatible headers; all designed to work together and provide you a low power, connected sensing platform.

 

 

Features:

  • USB connector / powering
  • Segger J-link support
  • Adruino shield ready
  • 3 push buttons
  • 4 LEDs

Documents:

Apollo2

  • MCUs
  • EVB

Apollo2 MCUs

Apollo2 MCUApollo2 is the second generation into the ultra-low power Apollo microcontroller family. This highly integrated MCU reduces power consumption by more than 50% compared to the first generation Apollo MCUs, therefore empowering users with more processing capability with an even lower power budget. Apollo2 opens door for enhanced applications performing complex context detection, gesture recognition, and activity monitoring with longer battery life in wearable electronics, activity & fitness monitors, IoT devices, and wireless sensors. All Apollo series MCUs take full advantage of Ambiq Micro’s patented Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology (SPOT) Platform, setting a new industry benchmark in low power design.

 

Apollo2 Overview

 

Available devices

Part Number Flash RAM Package Size
AMAPH1KK-KCR 1MB 256KB 49-pin CSP 2.5 x 2.5 mm
AMAPH1KK-KBR 1MB 256KB 64-pin BGA 4.50 x 4.50 mm

 

Specifications and Features

Ultra-low supply current:

  • <10 μA/MHz executing from flash at 3.3 V
  • <10 μA/MHz executing from RAM at 3.3 V

High-performance ARM Cortex-M4F Processor:

  • Up to 48 MHz clock frequency
  • Floating point unit
  • Memory protection unit
  • Wake-up interrupt controller with 32 interrupts

Ultra-low power memory:

  • Up to 1 MB of flash memory for code/data
  • Up to 256 KB of low leakage RAM for code/data
  • 16kB 2-way Associative Cache

Ultra-low power interface for off-chip sensors:

  • 14 bit, 15-channel, up to 1.2 MS/s ADC
  • Temperature sensor with +/-3ºC accuracy
  • Voltage Comparator

Flexible serial peripherals:

  • 6x I2C/SPI master for communication with sensors, radios, and other peripherals
  • 1x I2C/SPI slave for host communications
  • 2x UART for communication with peripherals and legacy devices
  • PDM for mono and stereo audio microphones

Rich set of clock sources:

  • 768 kHz XTAL oscillator
  • Low frequency RC oscillator – 1.024 kHz
  • High frequency RC oscillator – 48 MHz
  • RTC based on Ambiq’s AM08X5/18X5 families

Compact package options:

  • 5 x 2.5 mm (0.35mm) 49-pin CSP with 34 GPIO
  • 5 x 4.5 mm (0.5mm) 64-pin BGA with 50 GPIO

Apollo2 Evaluation Board (EVB)

Apollo2 EVBThe Ambiq Micro Apollo2 Evaluation Kit, or EVK, is the best place to start when designing with the Apollo 2 MCU. The EVK system contains already an on-board Segger JLINK Debugger and routes all available GPIOs to Arduino compatible headers; all designed to work together and provide you a low power, connected sensing platform.

 

 

Features:

  • USB connector / powering
  • Segger J-link support
  • Adruino shield ready
  • 3 push buttons
  • 4 LEDs

Documents:

Apollo3 Blue

  • MCUs

Apollo3 Blue MCUs

Apollo3 Blue MCUApollo3 Blue is the upcoming new MCUs expanding the ultra-low power Apollo microcontroller family. It manages a further reduction in power consumption compared to the so far unprecedented values of the former Apollo generations. At the heart of the Apollo3 Blue MCU is Ambiq Micro’s patented Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology (SPOT™) and a powerful ARM Cortex-M4 processor with Floating Point Unit. With its extended set of features and incorporated BLE 5, the Apollo3 Blue enables users to run sophisticated processes in hearables, wearables, IoT edge devices and voice controlled applications within an ultra-competitive power budget.

Currently available in beta stage for selected customers, the Apollo3 Blue is ready for mass production in Q1/19. First evaluation samples of the 81-pin BGA package and Evaluation-Kits are available upon request.

 

Apollo§ Blue overview

 

Specifications and Features

Ultra-low supply current:

  • 6 μA/MHz executing from flash at 3.3 V
  • 6 μA/MHz executing from RAM at 3.3 V
  • 1 μA deep sleep mode (BLE Off) with RTC at 3.3 V

High-performance ARM Cortex-M4Processor

  • 48 MHz nominal clock frequency, with 96 MHz high performance

Burst Mode

  • Floating point unit
  • Memory protection unit
  • Wake-up interrupt controller with 32 interrupts

Integrated Bluetooth 5 low-energy module

  • RF sensitivity: -93 dBm (typical)
  • TX: 3 mA @ 0 dBm, RX: 3 mA
  • Tx peak output power: 4.0 dBm (max)

Ultra-low power memory:

  • Up to 1 MB of flash memory for code/data
  • Up to 384 KB of low leakage RAM for code/data
  • 16 kB 2-way Associative/Direct-Mapped Cache

Ultra-low power interface for off-chip sensors:

  • 14 bit ADC at up to 1.2 MS/s, 15 selectable input channels available
  • Voltage Comparator
  • Temperature sensor with ±3°C accuracy

ISO7816 Secure interface

Flexible serial peripherals:

  • 1x 2/4/8-bit SPI master interface
  • 6x I2C/SPI masters for peripheral communication
  • I2C/SPI slave for host communications
  • 2x UART modules with 32-location Tx and Rx FIFOs
  • PDM for mono and stereo audio microphone
  • 1x I2S slave for PDM audio pass-through

Rich set of clock sources:

  • 768 kHz XTAL oscillator
  • Low frequency RC oscillator – 1.024 kHz
  • High frequency RC oscillator – 48/96 MHz
  • RTC based on Ambiq’s AM08X5/18X5 families

Wide operating range: 1.755-3.63 V, –40 to 85°C

Compact package option:

  • 37 x 3.25 mm(<0.35mm thk pkg) 66-pin CSP with 37 GPIO
  • 5 x 5 mm (<0.5mm thk pkg) 81-pin BGA with 50 GPIO

Apollo4 Blue

  • MCUs

Apollo4 Blue MCUs

Apollo4 (Blue) – Next Generation Ultra-Low Power MCU

It manages a further reduction in power consumption compared to the so far unprecedented values of the former Apollo generations. The Apollo4 Blue’s SPOT™ brings groundbreaking levels of energy efficiency to mobile, battery powered devices by increasing the computational capabilities of the Arm® Cortex®-M4F core to 192MHz while lowering the active power consumption to <4uA/MHz. An integrated DMA engine combined with the extra computing bandwidth gives engineers the flexibility to add more complex sensor processing algorithms to their energy-sensitive products without sacrificing quality or battery life. In addition, the Apollo4 offers 2D/2.5D Graphics controller to connect a display for wearables applications.

The Apollo4 Blue also provides a dedicated second core for the ultra-low power BLE5 connectivity platform providing superior RF throughput and leaving plenty of resources available for user applications. The radio performance and interoperability has already been proven to be reliable and robust in real-world consumer products which are currently shipping in massive volume.

 

 

Specifications and Features

Ultra-low supply current:

  • <5 μA/MHz

High-performance ARM Cortex-M4Processor

  • 96 -192 MHz clock frequency
  • 64kB Instruction-Cache
  • 384kB Data-TCM (Tightly-Coupled Memory)
  • 480kB Extended Memory
  • DMA Controller
  • IPC/CMDQ Controller

Ultra-low power memory:

  • 2 MB MRAM
  • 1 MB SRAM / 1.8 MB SRAM (Apollo4 Blue)

Display Sub-System

  • 2D/2.5D GPU
  • Display Controller
  • MIPI DSI

Low Power Audio Sub-System

  • 4x Stereo DMIC (Digital Microphone) input
  • 1x Sereo LP AMIC (Low Power Analogue Microphone) input
  • 2x full-duplex I2S ports with ASRC (Asynchronous Sample Rate Conversion)

Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.1 (Apollo4 Blue)

  • Arm® Cortex® M0
  • RF TX/RX
  • Baseband/Modem
  • WiFi® Coexistence

Peripheral Sub-System:

  • 3x QSPI (Apollo4); 2x QSPI/OSPI (Apollo4 Blue)
  • 4x UART
  • 12-bit ADC
  • Master SPI/I2C (8x Apollo4, 7x Appollo4 Blue)
  • 1x SPI Slave
  • Up to 105 GPIO
  • VCOMP (Voltage Comparator)
  • 1x SDIO/eMMC interface
  • USB 2.0 Controller including PHY

Security:

  • Crypto Accelerator
  • True Random Number Generator (TRNG)

System:

  • 2x HF-RC Oscillator, 1x LF-RC Oscillator
  • 32MHz & 24MHz XTAL
  • RTC
  • WDT

Part Numbers:

  • AMAP42KK-KCR-B2 (Apollo4 in 5mm x 5mm 146-pin BGA package)
  • AMA4B2KK-KBRB2 (Apollo4 Blue in 4.7mm x 4.7mm 131-pin SIP BGA)

Technology

SPOT™ Platform

Ambiq Micro is redefining “ultra-low power” with its unique and proprietary Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology (SPOT™) platform. The patented SPOT™ architecture uses transistors biased in the subthreshold region of operation (aka very low voltages) to achieve unmatched energy efficiency.

Breakthrough subthreshold design

Rather than using transistors that are turned all the way “on”, subthreshold circuits use the leakage of “off” transistors to compute in both the digital and analog domains. With most computations handled by using only leakage current, total system power consumption on the order of nanoamps is easily achieved. For example, when compared to a typical circuit operating at 1.8V, a “near-threshold” circuit operating at 0.5V can achieve up to a 13X improvement in dynamic power.

Operation at such low voltages is problematic due to susceptibility to noise, high sensitivity to temperature, and variability due to process drift. In developing the SPOT™ platform, Ambiq Micro has addressed all of these challenges by redesigning every analog and digital circuit in the chip to adapt for the temperature, voltage, and manufacturing variations that are problematic at these voltage levels.

Implemented in Standard CMOS

Despite the comprehensive use of subthreshold voltages in the SPOT™ platform, Ambiq Micro’s products behave just like any other semiconductor device and they are implemented using industry-standard CMOS manufacturing flows. The one difference: dramatically reduced power consumption.

Applications

MCUs Applications

  • Consumer medical devices
  • Consumer electronics
  • Smart watches
  • Smart meters
  • Battery-powered applications
  • Wearable electronics
  • Wireless sensors
  • Activity and fitness monitors
  • Beacons
  • Remote sensing
  • Motion and tracking devices
  • Home automation
  • Light control applications
  • Wireless mice and keyboards
  • Alarms and security system
  • Toys

Supplier Profile

Company Overview

Ambiq Micro was founded in 2010 on the notion that extremely low power semiconductors are the key to the future of electronics. They developed a patented Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology (SPOT™) platform that dramatically reduces the amount of power consumed by semiconductors.

Normal CMOS processes are working with an internal core voltage above the threshold voltage a transistor needs to make a logical low or high decision. Therefore most cores are working at 1.8V or 1.2V depending on the CMOS process.

By applying SPOT™ on a standard CMOS process, the internal core voltage can be minimized to 0.5V. While the energy consumption is proportional to the squared voltage, SPOT™ can reduce energy usage by up to 13 times!