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Embedded toolchain: Testing, tuning for power optimisation

12 Nov 2014

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Here is good news for developers working on always-on sensor processing: NXP Semiconductors' recently launched line of low-power microcontrollers boasting unrivalled power efficiency—the LPC54100—have an early tools support in IAR Embedded Workbench from IAR Systems.

"The advanced code optimisation capabilities along with power analysis features [of the IAR Embedded Workbench] enable users to extract the full potential of the LPC54100 series for always-on sensor processing applications, such as wearables, mobile devices, gaming, robotics and more," said says Brendon Slade, director of Tools and Embedded Ecosystems, Microcontroller business line, at NXP.

IAR Embedded Workbench

IAR Embedded Workbench components. (Source: IAR Systems)

Crucial for always-on applications, the LPC54100 series requires as little as 3µA for continuous sensor listening. A first for sensor applications, its asymmetric dual-core architecture enables scalable active power/performance that enables developers to optimise power efficiency by using the 55µA/MHz Cortex-M0+ core for sensor data collection, aggregation and external communications, or the Cortex-M4F core (100µA/MHz) to execute math-intensive algorithms (i.e., motion sensor fusion) more quickly while saving power. (Read entire story here: Power-efficient MCUs target always-on sensor processing apps)

The microcontroller can take advantage of IAR Embedded Workbench's code optimisation techniques that claim to have a significant impact on keeping the application's power consumption to a minimum.

In addition, developers can test and tune their applications for power optimisation and extend battery lifetime using IAR Systems' probe I-scope, which monitors the power consumed by individual modules and detects code design flaws causing unnecessary power consumption.

IAR Embedded Workbench is a complete set of tools for developing embedded applications. It features the powerful IAR C/C++ Compiler, the C-SPY Debugger with multi-core debugging, and a broad selection of user-friendly features such as performance profiling, stack analysis, code coverage and power profiling. The tools come with a range of integrated probes for in-circuit debugging and trace.

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