CC Blog Datasheet Directories

Low-Power MCUs

Written by Sam Wallace

An Industry Race to the Bottom

Low-power MCUs have become omnipresent, with good reason: the explosion in AIoT and wearable tech has created a great demand for minimizing energy consumption in virtually every application. This month’s Datasheet gallery represents just some of the great diversity of low-power MCUs available on the market today.

  • Low-Power MCUs
  • Infineon’s PSoC 4000T
  • PIC18-Q20 MCU
  • Low Power MUG51
  • Kinetis KL1x
  • RSL15
  • RA2L1 
  • EFM32PG28
  • STM32WL3x microcontrollers 

Low-power MCU” might be the second most ubiquitous phrase in the embedded systems industry, today—second only to “AI,” I would guess, and perhaps only slightly more widespread than the even more appealing “ultra-low-power MCU.” I’ve seen at least one major manufacturer touting “extreme low power,” and I’m sure that, in a year or two, we’ll have one or two more popular adjectives to describe this exploding trend in microcontroller technology.

I don’t mean to sound jaded! The demand for MCUs that use as little energy as possible is more than understandable. As IoT and wearable technology continue to grow at a tremendous speed, so too does the need for devices with long battery lifespans. No one wants to be glued to their chargers, and reducing energy consumption is a bonus. And outside of the home, in embedded applications within various industries, the desire to minimize energy usage needs, I assume, no explanation.

So we bring you nine MCUs, all from industry giants, for which low-power, or ultra-low-power, or hyper-nano-extreme-low-power, is a key feature. Each of these devices were released within the last 12 months, and there is some range in applications and specializations: from general-purpose offerings, to those geared toward connected smart devices in medical applications, to products suited for long-range wireless solutions, to sensing applications, to highly configurable devices, and more. My usual disclaimer applies, perhaps more than ever: the field of low-power applications is huge, the devices in this field are many, and hence nine products can only represent the tiniest sliver of what’s available. Still, I aimed to bring you some of the latest from some of the biggest names, and hope that this column might prove a useful start in your search for the right low-power MCU for your latest project.  

PUBLISHED IN CIRCUIT CELLAR MAGAZINE • JANUARY 2024 #402 – Get a PDF of the issue


Add your product to this directory


Keep up-to-date with our FREE Weekly Newsletter!

Don't miss out on upcoming issues of Circuit Cellar.


Note: We’ve made the Dec 2022 issue of Circuit Cellar available as a free sample issue. In it, you’ll find a rich variety of the kinds of articles and information that exemplify a typical issue of the current magazine.

Would you like to write for Circuit Cellar? We are always accepting articles/posts from the technical community. Get in touch with us and let's discuss your ideas.
Editor-in-Chief at KCK Media Corp. | + posts

Sam Wallace - became Circuit Cellar's  Editor-In-Chief in August 2022.
His experience in writing, editing, and teaching will provide a great perspective on the selection, presentation, and clarity of editorial content. The Circuit Cellar audience will benefit from his strong academic background encompassing a Master of Fine Arts in Writing and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with honors. His passion for learning and teaching is a great fit for Circuit Cellar's continuing mission of Inspiring the Evolution of Embedded Design.

Supporting Companies

Upcoming Events


Copyright © KCK Media Corp.
All Rights Reserved

Copyright © 2024 KCK Media Corp.

Low-Power MCUs

by Sam Wallace time to read: 2 min