LONDON – The Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium (EEMBC) has announced that a working group has been set up to create an energy-efficiency benchmark for microcontrollers.
The working group project is being extended to add to results originally produced in 2011. The working group is being chaired by Volkswagen and includes 11 semiconductor vendors including Freescale, Fujitsu, Infineon, Microchip, NXP, Renesas, STMicroelectronics, and Texas Instruments.
The effort has produced a specification for measuring performance and energy efficiency of automotive MCUs under various low-power operating conditions. Non-profit organization EEMBC (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) said it has also developed a prototype software version of this benchmark implemented on several semiconductor evaluation boards.
EEMBC's first-generation automotive benchmark suite, AutoBench, was designed to focus on an MCU's processing power, measuring the time required to complete specific algorithms. The updated benchmark suite adds tests to measure CPU core performance while simultaneously monitoring peripherals and energy usage.
Individual tests that make up the benchmark suite measure the power consumption of the core CPU and its peripherals under various loads, the amount of time that it spends in low-power modes under various CPU and peripheral application loadings, and the time required to wake the MCU from its various low-power states to resume processing (see Who has the lowest power MCU?).
EEMBC said the working group will align the benchmark suite with the requirements of Autosar (The AUTomotive Open System ARchitecture), a standardized automotive software architecture, jointly developed by automobile manufacturers and their suppliers.
"Volkswagen has been a long-time leader in the automotive industry and as chair of this project, they will continue to provide inputs to ensure the real-world value of this benchmark and subsequent versions that will address increasing microcontroller complexity and robustness requirements," said EEMBC president Markus Levy, in a statement.
"Following completion of this new benchmark suite, we will demand the Tier 1 suppliers and semiconductor vendors provide results for the microcontrollers that will be integrated into the next generation of electronic modules," said Volkmar Tanneberger, head of electric and electronic development, at Volkswagen AG (Wolfsburg, Germany).
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