Posts Tagged ‘low power’

24 July, 2017

An increasingly important factor in embedded software development is power management. Historically, this was a solely hardware issue; that has all changed in recent years. Once the software has the ability to take control of factors that affect the system’s power consumption, it is logical that it should exercise that control in an efficient way.

Much is said about the implementation of power management software, but less is said about its design … Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , ,

13 March, 2017

My latest video blog is now available. I am talking about the relationship between the choice of operating system and the power consumption of an embedded system. You can see the video here or here:

Future video blogs will continue to look at topics of interest to embedded software developers. Suggestions for topics are always welcome via comment, email or social networking.

, , , , ,

2 March, 2015

Each Fall, just before the weather becomes too horrible, I get to attend ECS [Embedded Conference Scandinavia] in Stockholm, Sweden. It has become a good event for embedded developers in that area and I am pleased that my paper submissions seem to result in a couple of acceptances each year.

This year, I assume ECS will be in 6 months or so, but the organizers are inaugurating a new event … Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , ,

1 December, 2014

I am continuing my catch-up process of cataloging embedded software articles that I have had published on This time they cover the influence of software on power management, using a memory management unit, all about the C/C++ keyword static and the basics of multicore … Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

28 October, 2014

When I made the very first posting  to this blog, more than five years ago, I made the observation that the world of embedded software is very fashion conscious. I certainly do not mean that embedded software developers are renowned for their dress sense! I am talking about the way that a particular technology is really “hot” at any one time … Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

27 January, 2014

After talking about low power CPU modes last week, I make no apology for returning to the topic. Reducing power on a single core embedded system is a challenge. With a multicore design, there are many other nuances. As with most system development, there are two highly interrelated facets to the process: design and verification [which software developers commonly call debugging].

Different semiconductor vendors have different ideas on how to build such systems … Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , ,

20 January, 2014

Power management is a hot topic – or maybe that should read “a cool topic” – among embedded developers of late. In the course of a recent conversation on the subject, I realized that there are, in effect, three kinds of power saving procedure that embedded software might effect:

  1. Use dynamic voltage and frequency scaling [DVFS] to tune the CPU performance to the needs of the moment.
  2. Disable [power down] currently unused peripheral circuitry.
  3. Make use of the CPUs low power modes.

In the conversation, my interlocutor seemed to latch on to (3), which caused me to start thinking about how these modes should be used … Read the rest of this entry »

, , , ,

18 November, 2013

My busy two week conference period is now behind me and, having had a bit of R&R in the meantime, I have had a chance to reflect on some of my experiences and impressions of the three events: ARM TechCon, ECS and IP-SoC.

If you attended any of these events, please email or comment to share your thoughts. If you would like copies of any of my materials, please emailRead the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

8 July, 2013

Developing embedded software used to be easy. Actually, that is not true. It has never been easy, but certain matters were simpler. Embedded developers have always needed more control of code generation because, as I am often heard to chant, every embedded system is different and the priorities and requirements change from one to another.

It used to be broadly a choice between speed and size of code, but it is no longer that simple … Read the rest of this entry »

, , ,

1 April, 2013

Some time ago, I recorded the content for a Web seminar about power management in embedded software. Although I am talking about the subject generally, I am, of course, strongly alluding to the capabilities incorporated into Nucleus RTOS.

The session was “broadcast” last week, but, if you would like to experience a rare example of me being caught on video, you can watch the recorded version. If you would like a copy of the slides or have any questions, please email.

, , , ,

25 February, 2013

This week I am on my annual pilgrimage to Nuremberg, Germany to attend Embedded World. This is the first major conference of the year that covers embedded software and is, I am sure, now the largest event serving this community anywhere in the world.

I have written about past visits and this year’s trip will be quite similar, except that I will be rather busy … Read the rest of this entry »

, , , ,

4 February, 2013

I recently wrote a posting about designing a CPU for low power by creating an instruction set where common sequences of instructions would have the minimum number of logic transitions. I hoped that I would get some feedback and I did. I had an email from Apostolos Leventis. I am always delighted to be contacted by blog readers, either by comment or email – even if it is critical or correcting my errors!

In this case, I was fully prepared to hear that the approach that I described would not work for some reason. However, what Apostolos told me about was some work that approached the problem in a different, but very interesting way … Read the rest of this entry »


21 January, 2013

First up, please remember that I am a software guy, not a chip designer. Please read this posting with that in mind.

I was chatting with someone at a conference recently and they planted an idea in my brain. I am not sure what to do with the idea, so I thought that I would exercise it here. The topic was the consideration of power consumption in embedded systems – a subject I have written about before: here, here and here for example. But this was a new angle … Read the rest of this entry »


10 December, 2012

It is quite common, as I am sure it is for you, that someone asks me what I do for a living. Most of the time I try to get away with just saying that I work for a software company. If pressed for more detail, I end up explaining what embedded systems are all about. Sometimes, when really pushed, I talk about how I actually spend my time – writing articles, do webinars, presenting at conferences, etc. I have been known to call myself a “professional enthusiast”.

Last week the completion of a couple of my outbursts of enthusiasm … Read the rest of this entry »

, , ,

19 November, 2012

I recently attended an event focused on power and embedded software hosted by the NMI in the UK, where I had been invited to make a presentation. My session was titled “Power Management in a Real Time Operating System”. If you would like a copy of the slides, please email.

Of course, apart from presenting myself, I was interested in the other sessions, in particular one about compilers and power consumption … Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , ,

17 September, 2012

This week I am making a flying visit to DESIGN East [a.k.a. ESC Boston] to present a couple of classes. When I say “flying”, I am not alluding to my mode of transportation, but the duration of my visit. My first paper is Wednesday afternoon and my second is lunchtime on Thursday; I fly in Wednesday morning and out again Thursday evening. I even manage to pack in some other activity while I am there, but I do not think I will be suffering jet lag when I get home! Even though it is a short visit, I look forward to be in Boston again – it has been a while.

My two papers address RTOS oriented topics: one is about designing for low power; the other looks at measuring RTOS performance … Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , ,

3 September, 2012

Power consumption of embedded systems is currently a hot topic – one I have posted on several times before. With the conference season coming up, I am working on a few papers that address this subject and I will talk about those nearer the time. However, there is one aspect of designing for low power that I thought it would be worthwhile putting under the spotlight.

I want to introduce the “Power Pyramid” … Read the rest of this entry »

, , ,

23 July, 2012

Once again, I am thinking about embedded software and low power design, as I have discussed before. I still find it interesting that a characteristic of electronic devices, which until only recently would have been considered purely a hardware issue, is now very much on the agenda for software developers.

The challenge now is to keep up with the capabilities provided by the chip makers … Read the rest of this entry »

, , , ,

9 July, 2012

The subject of power in embedded systems just does not seem to go away – like my postings here and here. And I do not see the situation changing any time soon. If it is not design consideration for your current project, I promise that it will be on your agenda before long.

As smart phones become increasingly ubiquitous, it seems worthwhile considering how concerns about power have influenced their design … Read the rest of this entry »


26 June, 2012

I have often observed that the world of embedded software is usually dominated by a small number of “fashionable” topics – technology that everybody is talking and/or concerned about. The key one just now, which I have discussed before, is the influence that software has on device power consumption. This is a topic to which I will certainly return.

A number of the Mentor Embedded team were at the Freescale Technology Forum [FTF] last week and my colleague Kamran Shah has written a guest blog about some of the fun that they had there, while talking about low power design … Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , ,

@colin_walls tweets

Follow colin_walls