Benchmarking organization EEMBC has kicked off an effort to develop a set of performance tests for edge nodes for the Internet of Things (IoT).
Focus on the energy efficiency of edge nodes, the benchmarks will build on experience EEMBC has obtained through its existing ULPBench low-power benchmark, which assesses the energy consumption of a microcontroller-based system across deep sleep and active modes. The IoT benchmarks will be more extensive, reflecting the ability of a node’s processor to deal with sensor inputs, data processing and communications across wireless networks such as Bluetooth Smart and Zigbee.
EEMBC said the aim of the benchmark under development is to “reliably determine the combined energy consumption of the platform, taking into consideration the real-world effects of the ‘thing’ parts”.
IoT diversity challenge
Mark Wallis, co-chair of EEMBC’s IoT working group and STMicroelectronics system architect, said: “Due to the diversity of IoT edge-node applications, several configuration profiles are needed to represent the most popular functions, adding to the value and usefulness – and complexity – of the benchmarks. These multiple configuration profiles will allow black-box comparisons of corresponding products and white-box comparisons of platforms, which may be used for other applications not covered by existing profiles but [are] similar enough to give a useful indication of the expected performance and energy efficiency of the platform.”
Markus Levy, EEMBC president, said: “From an engineering perspective we’re excited because incorporating additional performance and efficiency aspects into the measurement system – specifically the wireless and sensing pieces – presents some really interesting technical challenges.”
Current active working-group members include Analog Devices, ARM, Freescale, Imagination Technologies, Microchip, NXP, Silicon Labs, STMicroelectronics, Synopsys, and Texas Instruments.