Tool tracks down power issues for energy-efficient embedded design

Embedded and customised low-energy computing (CLEC) systems can be designed using the Lynsyn Lite, power measurement tool from Sundance Multiprocessor Technology.

The low-cost tool is designed for systems that require a high degree of energy efficiency, providing accurate measurement of a system’s energy consumption based on application behaviour. This significantly eases the time-consuming process of tracking down the root causes of power issues compared to using traditional laboratory-grade power measurement equipment, says Sundance.

The core Lynsyn technology was developed by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) to overcome the challenges of accurately measuring energy consumption in the development of the EU’s TULIPP project’s high performance, energy-efficient reference platform. The TULIPP (Towards Ubiquitous Low-power Image Processing Platforms) project targeted the growing range of increasingly complex image processing applications.

Lynsyn Lite measures the power usage of individual sections of source code deployed in embedded and CLEC systems. It connects over JTAG to non-intrusively sample the program counters of the system processors and correlate the power measurements with the source code, mapping consumption samples to application actions. A sampling frequency of up to 10kHz is used.

There are three sensors that measure both current and voltage and, although it has been designed to support application power profiling primarily of systems based on Arm Cortex A9, A53 and A57 cores, there is no need to purchase a separate JTAG pod as it is a replacement for the Xilinx platform cable USB-II and can, therefore, also be used as a generic JTAG programming device with the Xilinx Vivado tool suite and a remotely controlled current/voltage meter over USB. Lynsyn Lite is compatible with both Linux and Windows operating systems and includes open source software that both samples and visualizes measurement results.

Lynsyn Lite will to be sold by Sundance under license from NTNU. It is 20% the price of the original Lynsyn board developed for the TULIPP project and other competitive boards currently available on the market, advises Sundance.

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