MAX32630IWG+T: A 32-Bit Microcontroller with A Floating Point Unit

Microcontrollers or MCUs have often been termed “complicated or complex devices” because of the supposed “complexities” involved with the configuration. On a closer look, one can see that MCUs indeed may be complex, but they serve a wide range of purposes for diverse consumer electronics.

Microcontrollers are one of the embeddable electronic components. These components are primarily used for performing several tasks by leveraging software. The tasks include making a repetitive execution of a predefined series of tasks; and integrating a working memory in the target device or application.

Introducing MAX32630IWG+T

MAX32630IWG+T is a type of Microcontroller (MCU) that serves the aforementioned purposes and many more.

Maxim Integrated and Analog Devices Incorporated made a unified manufacturing of this MCU. It works with a 32-bit Single-Core core size and is powered by the ARM Cortex-M4F processor.

Power Reduction Capabilities

Besides the performance in the area of improving the target device’s performance; MAX32630IWG+T also cuts down on power usage.

It uses the Peripheral Management Unit (PMU) to cut down on power usage, especially through the support for six (6) channels through the intelligent peripheral control.

In addition to excellent power reduction, MAX32630IWG+T also manages the power effectively for all its functionalities. For this purpose, it uses the firmware-controlled power gating and the built-in dynamic clock gating to optimize the MCU’s power for the specific devices/applications.

We are going to seize this opportunity to discuss further on how the Peripheral Management Unit (PMU) works.

Dual Operations and the CPU Correlation

The PMU supports the use of a DMA-based link list processing engine to facilitate the performing of data and operation-specific transfers. These transfers have to involve either the peripherals or the memories contained in the Advanced High-Performance Bus (AHB) and the Advanced Peripheral Bus (APB) peripheral memory space.

The success of these peripherals depends on the CPU being in a sleep state.

The Relevance of the CPU’s Sleep State

Is there any advantage for MAX32630IWG+T PMU’s performance if the CPU is in a sleep state? There are several reasons why that state needs to be in place:

1. Lower Noise Environment

Some Microcontrollers (MCUs) make a lot of noise during operation. However, it is possible to cut down on the noise dissipation when MAX32630IWG+T is operating, especially if the CPU is in a sleep when the Peripheral Management Unit (PMU) is in use.

Having a lower noise environment is essential to getting the maximum ADC performance via the PMU.

2. Lowered Operations

There are not much overhead peripheral operations now that the CPU is in a sleep state.

USB Controller

MAX32630IWG+T also has a Universal Serial Bus (USB) controller that doubles as the “slave controller.” Compliant with the full-speed USB 2.0. specifications of 12 Megabytes per second (Mbps); the USB Controller supports DMA for the endpoint buffers.

On the other hand, there is the support for an integrated USB Physical Interface (PHY), which plays a great role in reducing both the cost of designing the system and the size needed for the circuit board.

Serial Peripheral Interface

Doubling as the “master interface” the Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) is an SPI Master-Mode-Only (SPIM) interface that operates singly or independently.

It also paves the way for connecting to multiple interfaces. Through the SPI Ports, a highly-configurable, efficient and flexible interface can be used to interface or communicate with several SPI slave devices.

Excellent Signal Conversion

Signals can be converted using MAX32630IWG+T’s Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC). It is a 10-bit delta-sigma signal converter equipped with up to four (4) external inputs.

The ADC can also perform the following functions:

3. Sample Comparison

The ADC has an optional feature that allows for the automated comparison of the captured sample with the User-Programmable low and high limits.

Through this comparison, the ADC would be able to wake the CPU from the low-power sleep mode, and allow the ADC to trigger an interrupt. The interrupt is only triggered when the ADC notices that a captured sample has gone outside of the preprogrammed limit range.

4. Programmable Timer

MAX32630IWG+T also supports a programmable timer that supports 6 32-bit timers. These timers are used to providing capturing, timing, comparing and generating of the Pulse-Width Modulated (PWM) signals.

Each of the timers can be further broken down into other formats, such as the standard 12, 16-bit timers.

The functions of the programmable timers also include the ability to be configured as the 2×16-bit general-purpose timers, programmable 16-bit prescaler and support for the PWM output generation.

The programmable timers also support a 32-bit up/down autoreload, timer output pin and timer interrupt.

Trust Protection Unit (TPU)

At the core of MAX32630IWG+T’s performance is the provision of an all-around Microcontroller (MCU) performance, one which includes maximum security.

As a way of securing the data, it uses the Trust Protection Unit (TPU) to provide an enhanced, cryptographic data security for the data and the valuable Intellectual Property (IP).

The security architecture is based on a high-speed and dedicated, hardware-based Math Accelerator (MAA). The accelerator sees to the performance of a series of mathematical computations, aimed at strengthening the MCU’s data security.

Cryptography-Based Data Security

MAX32630IWG+T’s data security is improved with the support for several cryptographic algorithms, such as 2048-bit (CRT), AES-128 and 1024-bit DSA.

Besides these advanced cryptographic algorithms, MAX32630IWG+T also supports the improved key security. For this purpose, it uses a user-selectable entropy source to increase the key’s randomization.

Watchdog Timers

Generally, watchdog timers are integrated into circuits to “watch” or keep an eye on the device’s performance. When the device begins to “clock out” of the ideal range, the watchdog timers swing into action to rectify the issue.

MAX32630IWG+T’s watchdog timers are three, with the first two dedicated to increasing the system’s security. The WDT1 and the WDT2 watchdog timers support several clock options, operate independently and can reset the system.

The third watchdog timer, the WDT3, uses a 16-bit timer to generate the watchdog reset. It works best when there is a need to provide the recovery for the “runaway code.” It can also be triggered into acting when the system becomes unresponsive.

Conclusion

MAX32630IWG+T is a DARWIN series of Microcontrollers (MCUs), designed with a floating point unit and made specifically for the wearable fitness and medical devices.