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SiLab’s Latest MCUs EFM32 and EFM8 are Aimed at Quick Prototyping

Written by Stephen Vicinanza

SiLab’s latest MCU EFM32 and EFM8 are aimed at quick prototyping. Silicon Labs has announced two new microcontroller (MCU) lines further expanding its portfolio of MCUs. These MCUs leverage Arm Cortex cores, in a number of types and speeds.

The company says the EFM32 is an energy-friendly microcontroller built for ultra-low power applications. They go on to state these microcontrollers are designed for “hard-to-reach,” power-sensitive consumer and industrial applications. The EFM32 family of MCUs is meant to be able to scale power consumption and maintain a real-time capacity to perform tasks.

The 32-bit EFM32 Cortex-M and Precesion32 Microcontrollers have a variety of choices in core types. There are Cortex-M0+, M3, M4, and M33, core options with up to 80 MHz frequency. The active current is down to 21 µA/MHz, the sleep current is down to 900 nA with RTCC and RAM. While wake times are down to 3µs.

The ADC is up to 16-bit SAR ADC, and the GPIOs run from 15 to 144. Flash can run up to 2048kB while the RAM is 512kB. All the latest MCUs are highly integrated, low power and Cortex M-based, for ease of prototyping for many applications.

Some of those applications include

  • Consumer products
  • Factory optimization
  • Smart meters
  • Home Automation
  • Industrial automation
  • Communication hubs
  • Industrial control hubs

Silicon Labs is delivering some of the fastest speeds in the lowest power in the industry. These attributes are well-suited for mixed-signal and low-latency design challenges. Leveraging and optimizing digital and analog peripherals, having flexible pin mapping and high system clock speeds, the results are quicker prototyping at lower power, and with less latency.

The 8-bit 8051-based EFM8 and C8051 microcontrollers are optimized 8051 cores that can run 70% of instructions in one cycle. The core frequency can run the MCU up to 72MHz, with the active current down to 150 µA/MHz, and the level of the sleep current down to 300nA with RTC. Overall the wake times are down to 2µs and the ADC is 14-bit SAR ADC. This family of microcontrollers has a GPIO range from 13-40 and has a flash memory of up to 64kB, and a RAM that can run up to 4kB.


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The application ranges that Silicon Labs is recommending include,

  • Smoke detectors
  • Remote controls
  • Motor controls
  • Consumer products
  • Mobile devices
  • Lighting control

To find out more about the Silicon Labs EFM32 and EFM8 microcontrollers, visit the product page here.

Silicon Labs |

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For the past 8 years, I have been writing about embedded technologies, added to my technical, academic, and medical editorial experience, with companies like Elsevier and Cambridge University Press. I tell people to read what I write, not try to pronounce my last name. I am always available for comments and suggestions you can reach me at and I promise I will take the time to reach back out to you. I live in the North East with my wonderful family.

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SiLab’s Latest MCUs EFM32 and EFM8 are Aimed at Quick Proto…

by Stephen Vicinanza time to read: 2 min