Nuvoton Unveils Its ReRAM-Packing Low-Power Arm Cortex-M23-Based M2L31 Microcontroller Range

Built for energy efficiency, Nuvoton's latest NuMicro chips drop the flash in favor of up to 512kB of ReRAM non-volatile storage.

Gareth Halfacree
26 days agoHW101

Nuvoton Technology has announced a new energy-efficient microcontroller, the M2L31, based on Arm's Cortex-M23 core — and featuring up to 512kB of high-performance low-power non-volatile resistive RAM (ReRAM).

"In an era where energy efficiency is paramount," the company says in support of its latest chip design, "Nuvoton Technology is proud to announce the launch of its new Arm Cortex-M23 M2L31 microcontroller series. Designed to meet the growing demand for sustainable high-performance embedded computing power, the M2L31 series stands out for its low power consumption and efficiency, with its running speed of up to 72MHz still providing great processing capability."

Nuvoton's latest microcontroller aims at energy efficiency and an ultra-low power sleep, thanks to the inclusion of on-chip ReRAM. (📹: Nuvoton)

That low power consumption is, according to the company's internal testing, as little as 60μA/MHz in normal operating conditions — and dropping down to just 0.5μA in the part's lowest-power "deep shutdown" mode. Part of this efficiency comes from Nuvoton's decision to switch from traditional flash memory to on-chip resistive RAM (ReRAM), an alternative non-volatile storage technology that draws less power and can be written to without an erase cycle beforehand.

The launch comes two months after the company unveiled the NuMicro MA35D0, a dual Arm Cortex-A35 design running at up to 650MHz. While that particular model targeted what the company described as "industrial edge device applications," its M2L31 is designed for projects that require a balance of performance and power — and which don't need a full Linux-capable microprocessor or megabytes of RAM.

Exact specifications for the M2L31 depend on the model chosen, with configurations available offering between 40kB and 168kB of static RAM and between 64kB and 512kB of ReRAM. All models can be clocked at up to 72MHz, while peripherals include two USB 3.0 Type-C Power Delivery (PD) ports, two CAN FD buses, and up to eight UART, four I2C, and four shared SPI and I2S buses, plus up to 16 channels of capacitive touch sensing, a 24-channel 12-bit analog to digital converter (ADC), up to two 12-bit digital to analog converters (DACs).

More information on the M2L31 family is available on the Nuvoton website. Nuvoton has also confirmed a quick-start evaluation board, the M2L31 NuMaker, for those looking to experiment with the chips. Pricing and availability had not been announced at the time of writing.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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