Energy Micro’s EFM32 Gecko Cortex-M3 MCUs have been chosen by PIEPS GmbH for use in its top-of-the-range handheld avalanche transceiver, the PIEPS VECTOR. Climbers rely on avalanche transceivers in the event of an emergency and in normal operation regular handheld devices provide beacon functionality should the user run into trouble, and a receive mode helps rescuers conducting a search.
The PIEPS VECTOR is the most advanced product of its type. It is able to record and display the user’s location on a live map like a standard GPS and is a maintenance-free four-antenna beacon with rechargeable batteries. The device uses vector triangulation to pinpoint exact position and walking directions; the GPS-map displays and records exact co-ordinates for use either in emergency search or for later use on PC or laptop.
Energy Micro’s EFM32GG990F1024 microcontroller was selected due to its combination of ultra-low power and 32-bit Cortex-M3 processing power. The Giant Gecko MCU with USB also feature an array of energy friendly standby modes and autonomous peripherals, ideal for preserving battery life in critical applications such as the VECTOR.
Commenting Wolfgang Platzer, R&D Manager at PIEPS said, “Transceivers like the VECTOR are unique in that they are used by those in distress, by rescuers and by those who simply want to record an expedition. The Gecko’s blend of performance and energy efficiency has enabled us to satisfy the needs of all of these users.”
The PIEPS VECTOR is a handheld device that weighs around 200g and is a little larger than a smartphone. It is equipped with an ultra-sensitive -160dB SuperSense GPS, and runs from a Li-ion battery. Working at a beacon frequency of 457kHz, the device has an exceptionally long range of 70m.