Managing Power in Embedded Software

Power consumption in embedded devices is an important issue for embedded designers. On one hand, the device’s battery life has to be extended as much as possible. On the other, the system’s environmental impact has to be reduced. Historically, increasing an embedded device’s power holding capacity was a hardware issue but not any more. Software has taken a more prominent role in power management now.

The good news is, power management in embedded devices is well understood so you really don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Software development considers a number of ways to reduce power consumption in embedded devices. One, you can either switch the peripherals off when the device is not being used or you can adjust the voltage and the frequency of the CPU according to performance requirements. The best way to conserve power is to simply switch the device off. If you can do this through the software, nothing better. It is also true that higher the frequency of operation of the device, higher the power consumption. So if you are can lower the frequency in some way, without affecting performance, you can conserve power. You can also explore sleep mode as a method to conserve power.