SOFTWARE TOOLS: IAR software makes micropower AVR32 more power efficientUppsala, Sweden " Available now from IAR Systems is a version of its Embedded Workbench for Atmel's recently announced picoPower AVR32 UC3L microcontroller family that features a built-in hardware capacitive touch controller.
According to yvind Strm, Atmel's director for AVR32 products, IAR Embedded Workbench makes full use of the single-cycle load/store and DSP instructions in the AVR32 UC core.
Together with advanced optimization intelligence in the compiler, the generated code will require a minimum of memory space while running applications with excellent per-cycle throughput.
The efficient code generated by the IAR Embedded Workbench, he said, allows the microcontroller to complete application tasks using fewer clock cycles, thereby conserving power.
In addition, said Strm, smart scheduling and register allocation performed by the compiler avoids unnecessary power consuming load/store operations. In most cases, he said, this will not only further reduce the power consuming instructions, it will also generate faster code that allows the microcontroller to go back to sleep mode sooner.
For a typical application utilizing sleep mode, the optimizations in IAR Embedded Workbench reduces the execution time by up to 30%, and consequently lowers overall power consumption by as much as 30%.
IAR Embedded Workbench also includes versatile tools to allow the engineer to fine tune the application to be more power efficient. With the built-in IAR C-SPY debugger it is possible to make powerful profiling of the application using trace data recorded from execution on hardware.
The profiler uses trace data to display how the code executes on function or instruction level, and where in the application clock cycles are spent. It helps the developer to focus on problem areas and discover if the application unnecessarily spends time in active mode.
The trace features in C-SPY can be used together with the AVRONE! Debugger probe, available from Atmel. Profiling can also be done with the built-in instruction set simulator.