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Volkswagen to lead EEMBC effort on benchmarks to quantify automotive microcontroller energy efficiency

Prototype of EEMBC’s automotive microcontroller efficiency benchmark includes test equipment from National Instruments connected to the Renesas V850E2/Fx4-L microcontroller. Click to enlarge.

The Volkswagen Group will chair an expanded Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium (EEMBC) working group project to establish an energy-efficiency benchmark for microcontrollers aimed at making automotive end products more energy-aware and more robust.

EEMBC’s first-generation automotive benchmark suite, AutoBench, focuses on CPU processing power, measuring the time required to complete specific algorithms. Its 16 benchmark kernels include generic workload tests; basic automotive algorithms, including controller area network (CAN), tooth-to-spark (locating the engine’s cog when the spark is ignited), angle-to-time conversion, road speed calculation, and table lookup and interpolation; and signal processing algorithms.

Microcontroller efficiency (optimizing both performance and energy) is becoming an increasingly critical parameter, especially with the rising number of microcontrollers in the car. Thus the new AutoBench 2.0 benchmark suite adds new tests to measure CPU performance while simultaneously monitoring peripherals and energy usage.

The working group currently includes 11 top-tier semiconductor vendors including Freescale, Fujitsu, Infineon, Microchip, NXP, Renesas, STMicroelectronics, and TI.

Already, the effort has yielded a full working specification for measuring performance and energy efficiency of automotive microcontrollers under various low-power operating conditions. EEMBC has also developed a prototype of this benchmark implemented on several key semiconductor evaluation boards.

As a world leader in advanced automotive systems, Volkswagen is continuing to chair the EEMBC Automotive working group and lend its expertise to ensure that the new benchmark reflects real-world system-design conditions and leads to improved efficiency. Following completion of this new benchmark suite, we will demand the Tier 1 suppliers and semiconductor vendors to provide results for the microcontrollers that will be integrated into the next generation of electronic modules.

—Dr. Volkmar Tanneberger, Volkswagen’s head of electric and electronic development

Individual tests of the microcontroller measure the power consumption of the CPU and peripherals under various loads, the amount of time that it spends in low-power modes under various CPU/peripheral loads, and the time required to wake the MCU from its various low-power states to resume processing.

Moreover, the working group will align this benchmark suite with the AUTOSAR development partnership, utilizing the Microcontroller Abstraction Layer (MCAL) to interface to the underlying microcontroller hardware.

This benchmark specification will be open to all world-wide car manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers, and EEMBC encourages everyone in the ecosystem to join the effort to develop subsequent phases of this benchmark.

EEMBC, the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium, founded in 1997, develops and certifies real-world benchmarks and benchmark scores to help designers select the right embedded processors for their systems. Every processor submitted for EEMBC benchmarking is tested for parameters representing different workloads and capabilities in communications, networking, smartphone and other connected devices, office automation, automotive/industrial, embedded Java, and network storage-related applications.



How so they compare with ICE's efficiency?


Completely different figures of merit.

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