Nothing Like a Good Sleep

It’s been known in the embedded systems community that one of the best ways to save power is to not do anything. Getting a system into various levels of sleep mode, and managing it correctly, is one of the key factors to low power system design. The ability of many of the controllers on the market to get specific subsystems into sleep mode or to even shut power off completely to those modules, takes power management on new embedded systems to a new level of complexity that keeps many developers up at night until the wee hours.

Power management is going to be a key factor for the success of new products in the Internet of Things market. Especially when it comes to wearable devices where charging the devices on a daily bases is unacceptable to the user. Battery technology is developing at an amazing rate, and the new processors and programmable devices that are coming on the market are also reducing power consumption in a significant way. But both of those technologies are coming at a premium cost for now. There is another way to reduce power consumption–use a smaller CPU with less on-chip memory. When it comes to power consumption, an 8-bit processor will be much more efficient that a 32-bit one, and the memory size will directly contribute to the power consumption profile of the MCU (especial RAM).

SynthOS is a tool for the development of an Application-Specific Operation System. SynthOS is taking the customer’s basic code and a configuration file as input, and it generates an optimized and highly efficient operation system. This ASOS reduces the memory utilization on both flash and RAM, and the source code that it generates has effectively zero latency for interrupts. SynthOS also has internal support for system level sleep more. Starting with version 1.7, a new SynthOS function call, setMaskAndSleep() will set the interrupt mask and put the system into sleep. This will further improve the power consumption in embedded systems developed with SynthOS.

At this point you are probably thinking that you are going to look into SynthOS for your next product design. But the real beauty of using SynthOS is that it can help older designs too. Since SynthOS generates source code in ANS C, it is compatible with any processor that has a C compiler (virtually all MCUs). By using SynthOS, you can reduce the program and the data size compared to other RTOSes or schedulers. This will not only help you improve the legacy system but will also let you add new functionality within the same memory footprint. And it will also allow you a good night’s sleep.

Jacob Harel
VP of Product Management
Zeidman Technologies