Power Consumption describes a set of characteristics of a device that indicates the amount of power they consume over a defined time, and which are required to ensure the device can operate normally and provide output at the end of that period.
Impacted by an active device
Common power consumption measurements in watts (or amperes) are widely used throughout electronics engineering and are essential for cost-effective device cooling. The measurement of power consumption in watts (or amperes) does not directly correspond to the maximum power delivered because the power consumed over time varies as the output capacity changes. Power consumption may also be impacted by an active device or control circuit, so it is not directly comparable with maximum power.
A thermal bridge is a circuit design where two or more conductors are heated to a specific temperature. Once the temperature is stable, the two conductors are separated and are moved apart by a gap. This separation occurs in a small region of the device, and only when the two temperatures reach each other does the circuit give error signals, often called “static”. Typically, a thermal bridge device is used when a high power consumption performance is desired in electronic circuits. However, static power consumption is also possible when the device is cooled below its thermal saturation point.
Thermal Energy Efficiency
Reducing power consumption at rest or while in standby mode is an energy-efficiency feature that can have a dramatic impact on chip performance. When devices are in a thermal state, their power consumption is substantially higher than when they are in an idle state. While manufacturers often address this issue by changing thermal settings and providing fans or heat sinks to reduce the energy consumption of these idle chips, most do not consider reducing power consumption when in standby mode.
Latency is the time difference between initiating an action and receiving the data it’s associated with. In the case of electronic devices such as microprocessors, random access memory (RAM) commands are executed one instruction at a time, making the timing between commands very tight. When writing or reading from an internal buffer, the time from when the CPU requests the data and then stores it is in effect wake-up latency. Latencies caused by wake-up latencies can cause significant degradation in performance. Using a combination of software and voltage modulation to control wake-ups can reduce the risk of introducing wake-up errors, improving overall device performance.
Power management algorithm
To improve efficiency, many embedded systems also include a power management algorithm that controls the amount of current drawn from the power source, which limits power consumption. There are a number of ways to implement the algorithms to control power management, such as providing different instructions to the microprocessor to control its various functions and providing separate command buses to streamline control of the different processes. One way to implement power management in embedded systems is to provide an interface for external applications to use a generic control routine, which performs the same operations for all processes. This simplifies the task of designing a power management algorithm but may not be enough to reduce the power consumption of specific embedded systems.