The purpose of our future system is to provide a set of tools and devices that will enable easy energy profiling of various firmware solutions for MCU-based platforms as well as the Lithium battery State of Charge (SoC) and State of Health (SoH) algorithm’s evaluation platform. Our main goal is to design and implement a compatible set of tools (hardware and software) that will easily provide answers to the following questions:

  • “If I have two different firmware implementations A and B which implement almost the same functionalities, which firmware solution consumes less power?”,

  • “Which firmware parts are the most demanding in terms of energy?”

  • “Is it possible to change something in firmware to decrease the energy consumption of MCU-based devices?”

  • “For specific applications, should I use algorithm A or B for SoC estimation? What is error range?”

  • “How to tune specific SoC algorithms to get better accuracy?”

The listed questions represent only some of the very important questions that arise whenever it is necessary to design a microcontroller system, especially when it comes to IoT systems made up of battery-powered microcontroller devices. A precise answer to these questions usually requires the prior use of different technologies, and tools that are often not compatible easy to use, and very expensive. Let’s take a simple example: To measure the current consumption of MCU based device, you should create a shunt on the protoboard, connect the oscilloscope to that shunt, and also measure a voltage to perform easy power analysis on the host side; connect the oscilloscope to PC over USB or Ethernet interface; log data to PC over a long period; analyze data by using Python or other scripting languages that are usually very slow and so on …

Our goal is to provide an easy-to-use low-cost solution that includes compatible hardware and software solutions with the functionalities mentioned in the previous example. Because IoT solutions usually include high-speed communication protocols that consume power in high peaks, it is important to provide high-speed sampling rates and high current rates to enable precise measurement. Besides that, we plan to create a highly modular and intuitive GUI application for various PC operating systems, such as Linux and Windows. Our toolset will enable easy development of various LiPo battery SoC and SoHo algorithms such as Coulomb counter, Kalman Filter, Particle Filter, etc. Thanks to this functionality, it will be easy to evaluate and configure different algorithms before their implementations on MCU-based platforms.

microchipSystem overall working principle

The overall system block design is presented below. It consists of a hardware part named Energy Profiler Probe (EPP) and a GUI application named Energy Profiler App (EPA).

EPP is in charge of monitoring Device Under Test (DUT) voltages and currents and forwarding measured values and control messages over the ethernet interface to the host GUI application. This platform should be based on STM32H7 MCU that includes High-Speed ADC (up to 16 bits and up to 4MSPS per channel), Ethernet, Crypto Accelerators, ARM Trust zone, DMA, etc.

The Energy Profiler Application is in charge of receiving and processing measurements but also the configuration of different measurement device options. Different application plugins should be used to process received data and provide various analyses:

  • Power analysis

  • Battery parameter analysis

  • SoC and SoH algorithm evaluation and development

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