The issues associated with energy requirements of devices used in the consumer and industrial markets have come to the forefront of system design. Handheld embedded systems strive to maximize performance and features while simultaneously consuming modest amounts of battery energy. And the problem isn’t limited to portable electronics. Designers of high-performance systems must also grapple with the challenges of reducing power to address a different class of issues associated with space constraints,
cooling, and the need to meet Energy Star specifications.

Many processor vendors offer their own energy consumption specifications on product data sheets that are difficult to compare with one another. When design engineers attempt to compare processor cores that include system-on-chip implementations, interpreting
these values becomes even more difficult. Vendors also use typical power numbers to characterize their processors. But only rarely do they indicate the workload that was applied while making these measurements. This paper proposes a new way to benchmark the energy cost of embedded processor performance.