Low-Power

Inside DSP on Automotive Signal Processing: Feeling the Heat

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Special Requirements of Automotive Signal Processing Twenty years ago, automobiles had very few electronic features. Today, nearly every vehicle relies on thousands of electronic components. Although annual growth in worldwide vehicle sales is relatively slow (roughly 3%), there is explosive growth in automotive electronics applications. By 2010, it is estimated that nearly 40% of a vehicle's total value will be attributed to its electronics (see Figure 1) and much of the electronics will be Read more...

New TI Chips and Tools Focus on Power

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Texas Instruments has introduced three 'C55x chips and a variety of tools targeting power-sensitive applications. The new chips, the TMS320C5503, TMS320C5507, and TMS320C5509A, resemble existing 'C55x family members in most respects. The new chips are notable mainly for their low-power features, starting with their support for frequency and voltage scaling. With this feature, the chips can use lower supply voltages when operating at lower frequencies. Specifically, the chips require 1.6 V at Read more...

Case Study—Measuring Processor Energy Consumption

Energy consumption is a chief concern for many digital signal processing applications, especially for portable applications where battery life is paramount. In these applications, an accurate understanding of energy consumption is critical to processor selection and to system design. Unfortunately, many obstacles hinder comparisons of processors' energy consumption. One key problem is that vendors usually report power consumption, not energy consumption. Calculating energy consumption— Read more...

Inside DSP on Low Power: Power, Energy, and Battery Life

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Power, Energy, and Battery Life The terms "power" and "energy" are often used interchangeably. Although these terms are related, they describe different concepts. Power consumption is the rate at which a device consumes energy. In other words, if a device consumes a fixed amount of power P over time t, then energy = P x t. An obvious (but important) point is that energy consumption can be reduced by minimizing P, t, or both. While it is common to hear discussions about low-power design, Read more...

Inside DSP on Low Power: Designing Low-Power Signal Processing Systems

Many embedded signal-processing systems require good energy efficiency. Some devices, such as medical implants and wireless sensors, must operate for years on just one battery charge. To do so, these devices must consume only microwatts of power—a significant design challenge to say the least! Larger devices such as cellular phones and multimedia-oriented PDAs can afford larger batteries and higher energy consumption, but they also must support heavy processing loads. Today's cellular phone Read more...

Inside DSP on Low Power: Processor Power Consumption—Beyond the Data Sheet

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Processor power consumption is a hot topic today (no pun intended). Consumers' appetites for sophisticated portable electronic devices are strong. But consumers want it all: they want feature-packed devices in small, slim hand-held form factors with good battery life. To meet these expectations, system designers must give high priority to minimizing power consumption. Although portable electronic devices incorporate many subsystems that consume power, such as LCD displays and mass storage Read more...

Inside DSP on Low Power: Processors for Low-Power Signal Processing

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In many low-power applications, the processor is a major contributor to the overall system energy consumption. Hence, the processor typically plays a key role in determining a product's battery life. The choice of processor also affects many other critical aspects of the system, such as price and performance. In this article we explore processor options for low-power signal processing applications. We begin with a discussion of the criteria to consider when selecting a processor for a low-power Read more...

Inside DSP on Low Power: Long Live the Battery

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Low-power Signal Processing TrendsA decade ago, low-power digital signal processing applications were rare, largely due to the lack of energy-efficient processors. Today, advances in chip fabrication techniques and processor architectures have dramatically improved energy efficiency for a broad range of processors. In addition, energy efficiency has become a top consideration for designers of some classes of processors—in some cases eclipsing factors such as speed. These advances are opening up Read more...

Inside DSP on Low Power: How Low Can You Go?

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When my old PDA croaked recently, I wasn't too upset. I'd had it for years and was looking forward to upgrading. I bought a new HP iPaq and was immediately impressed with its speed and features—especially the bright color display. But while the performance and capabilities of this little machine are a huge step forward from the previous-generation technology, battery life has taken a big step backward. Whereas my old Palm V would run for two weeks between charges, the new unit needs to be Read more...

Inside DSP: A New Slant—Welcome to InsideDSP

CMP Media and BDTI are pleased to introduce Inside[DSP], an innovative new series of periodic supplements to EE Times. Each Inside[DSP] supplement will focus on the digital signal-processing technology behind a particular end-equipment market. These will include product categories such as consumer audio and video, mobile multimedia devices, automotive signal-processing applications, and communications equipment. “What?” you say, “Another trade publication? Don't these guys understand that I' Read more...