EEMBC IoT-Connect is a Family of Benchmarks Designed To Test the Power Efficiency of IoT Devices

EEMBC, the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium, has been providing benchmarks for embedded systems since 1996, including ULPBench helping to rank micro-controllers by their power efficiency. But with the Internet of Things gaining traction, it’s important to test more than just the MCU core’s power efficiency, and having a benchmark taking sensors and connectivity into account would be useful. That’s exactly what EEMC IoT-Connect benchmark family aims for with the three main characteristics: Provides flexibility to accommodate various communication protocols (e.g. Bluetooth, Thread, LoRa, WiFi) Portable to work with any vendor’s microcontroller and radio-module products Compatible with EEMBC ULPBench and EEMBC IoT-Secure benchmarks The first benchmark of the family is IoTMark-BLE connectivity profile that supports Bluetooth (LE) MCUs. The benchmark requires fixed payload size, frequency of transmission, and transmit power, and performs a complete sequence of event ranging from sensor reading, to BLE notifications, and command write and CRC. The IoT-Connect test infrastructure is completed, and supports IoTMark-BLE, but to access …

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Ambiq Micro Apollo Low Power MCUs Promise Cortex M4F Performance at Cortex M0+ Energy Efficiency

Ambiq Micro is a US company founded in 2010 that focuses on “extremely low power” semiconductors leveraging their patented Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology (SPOT) platform. Earlier this year, they announced their first low power Cortex-M4F MCU Apollo family with claims of 5 to 10 times lower power consumption compared to other micro-controllers with the same performance. According to an EETimes article, they’ve at least partially backed their claims with a live demonstration at ARM TechCon 2015.   Before checking out the test results, let’s have a look at the main features of Apollo MCU family: 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4F processor @ up to 24 MHz, with FPU, and wake-up interrupt controller with 12 interrupts Up to 512KB flash, 64-KB low-leakage RAM “Rich set of timing peripherals” Peripherals I2C/SPI master; I2C/SPI; UART; 10-bit, 13-channel, 1MS/s ADC Temperature sensor with ±2°C accuracy Voltage Range –  1.8 to 3.8V Power Consumption: active mode: 30µA/MHz (executing from Flash) sleep mode (with RTC on) – 100nA Packages …

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