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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Energy Endoscope: Real-time Detailed Energy Accounting for Wireless Sensor Nodes

  • Author(s): Stathopoulos, Thanos
  • McIntire, Dustin
  • Kaiser, W J
  • et al.

This paper describes a new embedded networked sensor platform architecture that combines hardware and software tools providing detailed, fine-grained real-time energy usage information. We introduce the LEAP2 platform, a qualitative step forward over the previously developed LEAP and other similar platforms. LEAP2 is based on a new low power ASIC system and generally applicable supporting architecture that provides unprecedented capabilities for directly observing energy usage of multiple subsystems in real-time. Real-time observation with microsecond-scale time resolution now enables direct accounting of energy dissipation for each computing task as well as for each hardware subsystem. This new hardware architecture is exploited with our new software tools, etop and endoscope. A series of experimental investigations provide high-resolution power information in networking, storage, memory and processing for primary embedded networked sensing applications. Using these results obtained in real-time we show that for a large class of wireless sensor network nodes, there exist several interdependencies in energy consumption between different subsystems. Through the use of our measurement tools we demonstrate that by carefully selecting the system operating points, energy savings of over 60% can be achieved while retaining system performance.

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