EEMBC Standardizes CoreMark® Energy Measurement with New ULPMark™ Benchmark

EEMBC’s ULPMark-CM benchmark provides a concise methododlogy for evaluating and reporting MCU energy-efficiency versus performance trade-offs

Portland, Ore.—Feb. 22, 2019— EEMBC, an industry consortium that develops benchmarks for embedded hardware and software, today announced the release of the ULPMark-CoreMark benchmark—the third in the ULPMark series—designed to standardize the measurement and reporting of MCU energy.

Under constant demand from customers for lower MCU active power, manufacturers have been using EEMBC’s CoreMark benchmark to differentiate their low-power products from their competitors. Until today there were no standard methods or rules governing the consistency of these measurements. This has led to a mixed bag of incomparable results as companies develop their own differing methodologies.

EEMBC’s Ultra-Low Power (ULP) Working Group has fixed this problem by developing an official standard for reporting CoreMark energy called “ULPMark-CoreMark”, or, ULPMark-CM for short. Building on the success of the ULPMark family of software, the new benchmark uses the same energy monitor and host software framework as ULPMark-CoreProfile and ULPMark-PeripheralProfile. This new addition rounds out the capabilities of the product line by adding an active-power profile, based on the classic CoreMark benchmark, with a clearly-defined methodology. The official metric has the same name as the benchmark: the ULPMark-CM, which is proportional to iterations per milli-Joules. This is a crucial metric for understanding how much work an MCU can do for a given amount of energy.

“When comparing datasheets from different companies, the diversity of metrics relating CoreMark performance to energy efficiency complicates cross-product comparisons,” said EEMBC President, Peter Torelli. “By creating a single metric and clearly defining the methodology, comparisons become much more meaningful.”

The benchmark provides more than just a single score, it generates a set of scores for different configurations that reinforce the relationship between performance and energy. For example, running at a higher frequency improves the CoreMark score (performance) but uses more energy, while running at a lower voltage improves the ULPMark-CM score (energy efficiency) at the cost of performance. By presenting both scores side-by-side, the new benchmark clearly illustrates that tradeoff.

For more information please visit the ULPMark website.

EEMBC Contact:

Peter Torelli, President
+1 (203) 423-3179