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Baseline Measurement of Software Driven Power Consumption

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1 Author(s)
G. Cameron ; ATI Technologies Inc., 33 Commerce Valley Drive East, Markham, Ontario, Canada. Phone: 905 8822600 x3826, Fax: 905 8822567, E-mail:,

Minimizing the power dissipation of electronic systems is one of the most critical areas of research today. Many techniques exist to understand and control power leakage in the hardware itself yet there has been less effort towards understanding the effect of software on power consumption for the overall system. While processor data sheets and programmer's guides may contain hundreds of pages, they typically list only halted, typical and maximum power dissipation figures. Even if per-instruction power consumption data were made available for the CPU itself, it cannot account for interactions with off-chip memory and peripherals, which is specific to the target and the software running on it. This paper describes a simple technique that establishes a baseline for measuring the effect of running software on an arbitrary target with unmodified hardware, using only basic lab equipment

Published in:

2005 IEEE Instrumentationand Measurement Technology Conference Proceedings  (Volume:3 )

Date of Conference:

16-19 May 2005