Power monitor module provides 'unsurpassed' current measurement

Paul Boughton

Microchip announces the MPLAB REAL ICE Power Monitor Module, which enables designers to identify and eliminate code that consumes high current, in real time.

Combined with the MPLAB REAL ICE in-circuit emulator and MPLAB X IDE, this development platform allows users to measure, graphically profile and optimise code power consumption for all of Microchip’s more than 1000 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit PIC microcontrollers.

Additionally, it offers unsurpassed micro-Amp current measurement, with an overall dynamic range up to 1 Amp, and a voltage range of 1.25V to 5.5V.

Embedded designers continue to seek new ways to optimise power consumption for both extended battery life and greater line-power efficiency.

As MCU vendors and users have greatly reduced hardware power consumption, such as the 9nA sleep and 30µA/MHz active current consumption of Microchip’s eXtreme Low Power (XLP) PIC MCUs, application software is the next place for engineers to focus.

Microchip’s Power Monitor Module provides programmable power to the target, as well as sampling intervals, enabling users to run at specific voltage levels and see tailored measurements.

Designers can also set a 'current break' threshold level that breaks when exceeded, allowing them to pinpoint the code causing the spike and debug it.  All of these measurements can be displayed graphically, via the Current Profile Graphing feature, enabling engineers to better understand which sections of their code are consuming higher current.

The combination of the MPLAB REAL ICE Power Monitor Module with Microchip’s XLP PIC microcontrollers for battery-powered applications, and MCUs and dsPIC digital signal controllers for digital power conversion, motor control and metering, provides the industry’s first complete low-power embedded design platform.

For more information, visit www.microchip.com/get/M530