Simplified energy profiling for power-sensitive IoT applications

July 22, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
The latest version of Silicon Labs’ Simplicity Studio development platform includes a real-time energy profiler tool intended to make IoT system design easier, faster and more productive.

This development platform enables concurrent microcontroller (MCU) and wireless design; Simplicity Studio now has an enhanced real-time Energy Profiler tool, faster execution speed and an easier installation process.

Battery-powered IoT applications, such as wearables, personal medical devices, wireless sensor nodes, and gas and water meters, require exceptional energy efficiency for extended battery life. Extrapolating system-level energy consumption and battery life expectations from MCU and wireless IC data sheets is both challenging and time-consuming, Silicon Labs asserts; its Energy Profiler helps developers optimise their IoT designs for ultra-low energy and long battery life by providing a more intuitive user interface, improved usability, and greater energy profiling accuracy and reliability.

The Energy Profiler tool offers a new Energy Score feature that enables developers to benchmark the energy efficiency of their IoT system designs. The Energy Score helps developers determine which design iteration provides the highest score directly correlated to battery life. A higher score (on a 0 to 10 scale) indicates lower energy consumption and longer battery life. The Energy Profiler also allows developers to save sessions, enabling them to compare relevant data from their saved sessions to gain a better understanding of how design modifications impact overall energy efficiency.

The Energy Profiler features an enhanced energy graphing capability that has the familiar look and feel of an oscilloscope. The developer can now zoom in on the X (time) and Y (power) axes of the energy graph to analyse the details of energy consumption with greater precision. The profiler provides a direct correlation between the energy graph, function analyser and application code. This three-way correlation capability enhances the developer’s ability to optimise designs for ultra-low energy consumption.

Silicon Labs improved the efficiency of downloading and using Simplicity Studio; the size of the nstallation package has been reduced by a factor of ten, enabling developers to visit Silicon Labs’ website, download Simplicity Studio and run a demo in less than ten minutes. The