Ambiq Micro Apollo 1 – Technology and availability

Ambiq Micro developed a patented Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology (SPOT™) platform that dramatically reduces the amount of power consumed by semiconductors. By applying SPOT, Ambiq Micro produces the world’s lowest power real-time clock (RTC) and microcontroller (MCU).

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. 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.

Normally Apollo is know as space ship or space ship mission. In case of Ambiq Micro‘s MCU product Apollo is not a spaceship but Apollo is a MCU series launching a new mission in direction low power. In the meanwhile Ambiq Micro did their second launch to low-power with their Apollo 2 series, consuming just 10uA/MHz with 48MHz ARM™ Cortex™ M4F with 1MB FLASH and 256KB RAM.

Apollo achieves a score of 377 and smashes through EEMBC ULPBench ceiling, doubling the highest score on record.

Apollo 1 Series

The Apollo 1 family of microcontrollers from Ambiq Micro represents a quantum leap forward in the low-power MCU world. Power sensitive applications today are not looking for incremental reductions in energy consumption – they need revolutionary advances and the Apollo MCUs deliver. These highly-integrated microcontrollers offer industry-leading power numbers in BOTH active modes and sleep modes. Additionally, they offer the performance of 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 and other power-sensitive applications.

The Apollo 1 Series consumes just 140nA in standby and 35uA/MHz in run-mode with 24MHz ARM™ Cortex™ M4F with 512KB FLASH and 64KB RAM.

Apollo 1 series has following configurations:

  • APOLLO512-KCR: 512KB Flash, 64KB RAM, 41-pin WLCSP, 2.49 x 2.90 mm
  • APOLLO512-KBR: 512KB Flash, 64KB RAM, 64-pin BGA, 4.50 x 4.50 mm
  • APOLLO256-KCR: 256KB Flash, 32KB RAM, 41-pin WLCSP, 2.49 x 2.90 mm
  • APOLLO256-KBR: 256KB Flash, 32KB RAM, 64-pin BGA, 4.50 x 4.50 mm

Apollo 1 series is available starting from below 1.50 Euro / Dollar and can be ordered directly by Fujitsu Electronics

Direct link to Fujitsu Electronics Europe webshop:

Ambiq Micro Apollo 1 series features:

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