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Save power with omniscient code generation

Posted: 02 Jun 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:low power design? compiler? omniscient code generation? MCU?

The increasing emphasis on green technologies has focused more attention on low power design. MCU vendors are responding by increasing their offerings of ultra low power devices that consume as little as 350A/MHz and have sub-?A sleep modes.

Using a low power MCU is a first step in lowering power consumption. The next step should be to minimize the number of instructions the CPU must execute to get the job done, so it can spend as much time as possible in the deepest sleep mode available. This can be accomplished with careful design of the application software structure, tight coding and a compiler that reduces the number of required instructions.

Compilers can have a significant effect on the number of instructions required to execute the application and the resulting power consumption. All too often the method of compilation wastes CPU cycles on interrupt routines and on locating addresses in memory devices with banked memory.

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