EEMBC low-power peripheral benchmark verifies holistic MCU energy consumption

September 10, 2017 ECD Staff

The Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium (EEMBC) has released the ULPMark-PeripheralProfile (ULPMark-PP) benchmark for measuring the energy efficiency of microcontrollers and their programmable peripherals. The first ULPMark-PP benchmark results from EEMBC members, including STMicroelectronics, have also been published.

Peripheral functions accounted for by the ULPMark-PP benchmark include analog-to-digital conversion (ADC), real-time clock (RTC), serial peripheral interface (SPI), and pulse-width modulation (PWM).

“The initial ULPMark-PP results indicate that there is a huge efficiency difference between microcontrollers,” says Markus Levy, president, EEMBC. “Furthermore, these results also highlight the benefits of running at 1.8-2.0 volts versus 3.0 volts.”

he ULPMark-PP benchmark supplements EEMBC’s ULPMark-CoreProfile (ULPMark-CP) benchmark that measures the efficiency of microcontroller cores. Both are augmented by the IoTMark-BLE and the soon-to-be-released SecureMark EEMBC benchmarks, which measure full subsystem energy consumption and cryptographic performance, respectively.

“For maximum testing efficiency, ULPMark, IoTMark, and SecureMark all utilize EEMBC’s flexible, IoTConnect benchmark framework,” says Peter Torelli, director of technology at EEMBC. “This framework is built on inexpensive, industry standard hardware components, including a soon-to-be-available energy-measurement technology developed by ST that allowed us to make these benchmarks easily accessible to embedded system designers for their own due-diligence testing.”

Current ULPMark-PP working group members include Ambiq Micro, Analog Devices, ARM, Cypress Semiconductor, Dialog Semiconductor, Flex, Intel, Microchip, Nordic Semiconductor, NXP, ON Semiconductor, Renesas, Silicon Labs, STMicroelectronics, Synopsys, and Texas Instruments.

“I encourage all embedded system developers to encourage their MCU vendors to publish the results for their devices,” Levy says. “A comprehensive table of ULPMark-PP results significantly adds credibility and real- world comparability to the specifications in datasheets.”

All interested parties are welcome to join the EEMBC Low Power Subcommittee or license its benchmarks. For more information, visit


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