Today’s electronics engineers are constantly challenged with the need for high performance while maintaining low power. The balance between these two seemingly conflicting ideas is at the heart of every design and is crucial to success in today’s market. Consider a gas-metering application, for example. These devices are often located in remote areas and require long battery life, high accuracy and high reliability.
The Ultrasonic Gas Meter Front End with MSP430™ Reference Design makes efficient use of the low-energy accelerator (LEA) available on the MSP430FR5994. During implementation of this reference design, the LEA demonstrated the performance and power consumption improvement outlined in Table 1.
Not using LEA
GASMETERING_runAlgorithm() execution time
Current consumption attributed to algorithm over one sample per second (MCLK = 8MHz)
Table 1: Processing and power consumption with and without the LEA
You can now visualize these benefits with the help of the LEA graphical user interface (GUI), created using GUI Composer and the MSP430FR5994 LaunchPad™ development kit. This GUI quickly compares the execution of complex vector math operations using the central processing unit (CPU) and the LEA module. Figure 1 shows the basic layout of this new tool and how the bar graphs make quickly comparing LEA processing with the traditional CPU method simple and easy.
Figure 1: LEA GUI
The website https://dev.ti.com/gallery offers access to a wide range of GUI Composer demonstrations including the LEA GUI. This GUI also takes advantage of a powerful energy-based code analysis tool called EnergyTrace™ software that’s built into various MSP430 devices. This technology enables you to measure and display an applications energy profile. In this GUI, it’s used to measure the average power consumed by the MSP430FR5994 while it continuously runs a function using the CPU or LEA peripheral.
Here’s how the demo works:
The LEA GUI shows the true benefit of using the LEA module for vector-based processing such as fast Fourier transforms (FFTs), finite impulse filters (FIRs) and infinite impulse response (IIR) filters. You can quickly see the difference it can bring to your applications.
You don’t have to take my word for it either. Visit the TI store and pick up a MSP430FR5994 MCU LaunchPad development kit (MSP-EXP430FR5994) to test the LEA GUI yourself.
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