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Introducing power debugging

Posted: 09 Jun 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:power debugging  software optimisation  power consumption 

Power debugging is beginning to appear as a concept in the embedded industry, but what do we mean? This article takes a look at what is driving this need in embedded systems and the way to optimise software to minimise an application's power consumption.

Today, many embedded systems are powered by battery or via a signal cable. We see them in almost any market segment: medical, consumer electronics, home automation and many more. A common design goal for all these systems is that the power consumption must be low. Convenience, environmental awareness and costs are all contributing factors in choosing products that do not require us to constantly change the battery.

The design goals of low power consumption and a long battery lifetime have traditionally been the domain of hardware developers. As more battery-powered applications become controlled by a microcontroller, the hardware manufacturers present products with functionality and characteristics that contribute to lower power consumption and hence longer battery lifetime.

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