SAN JOSE, Calif. C/C++ compiler and software development tools supplier IAR Systems AB (Upsalla, Sweden) has announced a method whereby developers can correlate development board power consumption with the software running on ARM-based microcontrollers.
IAR Systems has been providing power for development boards through a spare pin in its board connector. From there IAR Systems reasoned that to monitor that power draw and match it to the code as it is executed could be a powerful additional tool.
It is available on ARM processor and MCU development boards with the Coresight debug capability, said Mike Skrtic, ARM strategic accounts manager for IAR Systems.
"Coresight allows us to sample the program calendar while it is running, with obvious benefit on Cortex-M3 microcontrollers," he said.
The functionality is being added to IAR Embedded Workbench and enables the developer to optimize the application's power profile, or compare different software routines on a quantitative basis. Although oscilloscopes can be used to measure power consumption this functionality reduces the effort required to identify the underlying causes of a power glitch.
"We have seen a growing interest among our customers for a means to reduce power consumption," said Stefan Skarin, CEO of IAR Systems, in a statement.
The company said it would include the technology in IAR Embedded Workbench later in 2010.
Phase two functionality is to add trigger point definition so that power consumption can tracked from trigger point to trigger point, which would be useful for detecting peak power consumption in low duty cycle systems, said Skrtic. This is likely to be introduced in Q4 of 2010, he said.