ULPMark™

An EEMBC Benchmark Suite

Introduction

The EEMBC ULPMark benchmark quantifies the many aspects of ultra-low power MCUs. It does this constructing several behavioral profiles that capture device operation better than a single synthetic number as found in a datasheet. By defining a concise methodology, ULPMark reliably and equitably measures the multiple aspects of MCU energy efficiency.

What is ULP?

Ultra-Low Power (ULP) describes a major design challenge MCUs face today, where product expectations range from running 10 years on a single battery, to harvesting pico-Joules of energy from the environment, to reducing overall global energy demand.

MCU vendors deploy creative design techniques to reduce the energy demands of a device in its different operating modes, such as deep sleep, peripheral data transfer, and active computation. Developers cannot rely on a single datasheet number to explain the benefits of these techniques because applications require optimization tradeoffs between all three energy demands, and performance.

The ULPMark Family of Benchmarks

Since its inception in 2012, EEMBC's ULPMark Working Group continues to develop new profiles for MCU power and energy analysis. There are currently four profiles, two for deep sleep and two for active workloads:

Table 1. An overview of ULPMark variants.
ULPMark variantWhat it measures
ULPMark-CoreProfileTrue energy cost of deep-sleep.
ULPMark-PeripheralProfileCommon peripherals' energy impact on deep-sleep.
ULPMark-CoreMarkActive power, using CoreMark as the workload.
ULPMark-MachineLearningActive power, using small neural-net inference workloads

Workgroup Status

All versions of ULPMark are available for corporate and academic licensing. As always, member companies and licensees are continually uploading new scores.

Join the working group to help ensure a meaningful and fair representation for your company’s products.


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