Low power design means different things based on the type of application that you are developing. Applications that operate in energy starved environments may need to rely on energy harvesting techniques to extract energy from their surroundings while they perform only simple functions.

Applications that can carry their energy supply within them need to remain frugal with how they spend their energy budget while they perform moderate types of processing. Applications that are permanently attached to a wall socket may have the luxury of being able to perform the highest complexity processing, but they still need to address how they use that energy to ensure the highest compute-per-unit-of-energy density while avoiding generating too much heat.

While the specific constraints that a developer for each type of low power application needs to address may differ, the techniques and strategies for developing those applications across the entire low power spectrum are similar. In this “Fundamentals of Low Power Design”, we will first explore the concepts of energy consumption and identify the different points along the spectrum of low power designs. We will then explore the hardware and software techniques that are available to developers using microprocessors.

The course will wrap up by applying the material presented in the first part of the course to low power designs using the Intel Atom processor. The course includes numerous links to specific resources that explain how to take advantage of the Atom’s resources that enable developers to extract the most performance per unit of energy.

About the Presenter:

Robert Cravotta is the Principal Analyst at Embedded Insights. As a former Technical Editor covering Embedded Processing at EDN, Robert has been following and commenting on the embedded processing space for more than ten years. His expertise includes software development and system design using microprocessors, microcontrollers, digital signal processors (DSPs), multiprocessor architectures, processor fabrics, coprocessors, and accelerators, plus embedded cores in FPGAs, SOCs, and ASICs. Robert’s embedded engineering background includes 16 years as a Member of the Technical Staff at Boeing and Rockwell International working on path-finding avionics, power and laser control systems, autonomous vehicles, and vision sensing systems.

In addition to writing articles for various sites including Embedded Insights and Low Power Design, Robert manages the Embedded Processing Directory (hosted at Embedded Insights) that presents information about embedded processors from over 80 semiconductor and intellectual property companies. The directory contains hundreds of pages of device tables, over 300 block diagrams, and over 200,000 words of information about the embedded processors that developers are using in today’s embedded designs.