Likely in the not-too-distant future, many of our appliances, lights, medical equipment and much more will all be connected to the Internet, making up an “Internet of things.” Arm Holdings has unveiled its latest processor that it says is the “world’s most energy-efficient microprocessor” design and will help expand this Internet of things.
“It’s allowing us to provide connectivity everywhere,” Geoff Lees, of Freescale, one of the firm’s that’s licensed the new tech, told the BBC. “So anything from consumer appliances, MP3-music audio docks, kitchen equipment with displays right through to remote sensors in rain monitoring equipment or personal medical devices – an area where ultra-long battery life allied to high performance and safety is becoming more and more important.”
The processors, formally ARM® Cortex™-M0+, are based on the “Flycatcher” architecture and have been licensed by Freescale as well as NXP Semiconductors.
The new design is both more energy efficient — Arm says it requires one-third less energy than predecessors — and has more advanced capabilities. It offers 32-bit processing, whereas previous Arm processors had 8 and 16-bit capabilities that didn’t match this level of energy efficiency.
Gary Atkinson, Arm’s director of embedded marketing, outlined to the BBC one potential smart energy solution the new product could provide:
“What we need to do is something called design response – where all the devices on the network can make a decision as to whether or not to come on in order to smooth out peaks and troughs in electricity demand.
“So you should add connectivity to things like fridges, washing machines, freezers and dishwashers. If the wider electricity network is being very heavily used and if the element in your dishwasher could go off for two or three minutes to alleviate that – well then that would make a big difference.”
Posted by Janine E. Mooney, Editor
March 14. 2012