The ULPMark-CoreProfile benchmark focuses on the MCU’s core, specifically the energy cost in sleep, and the transition to and from active mode. This benchmark utilizes a common set of workloads that are portable across 8-, 16-, and 32-bit microcontrollers. The Core Profile runs on a one-second duty cycle combining these workloads with an extended period of inactivity to enable the use of microcontroller low-power modes. Please refer to the FAQ for more information on the active workload.
While the active portion of the benchmark is only running for ~3% of the total runtime, it requires data to be saved during deep-sleep through the use of "retention RAM". Since it is rare that a sleepy edge node would clear its RAM after every sleep cyle, the exit- and enter-costs of retention RAM illustrate the true energy cost of sleep modes. There's more to it than just a datasheet number!
During the active portion of the test, the benchmark does the following:
ULPMark has been redesigned since it's first release in 2014. It now works with the EEMBC benchmark framework, the same one used by IoTMark and SecureMark, with a super-thin API that enables any MCU to execute next generation EEMBC benchmarks. The STMicroelectronics PowerShield provides the backbone of the framework's energy measurement, with sub-100nJ accuracy on your desktop for around US$100.
The framework used for ULPMark creates an extensible framework for probing an embedded system. Block diagram (left), actual implementation (right). Click to enlarge. Note that for ULPMark-CP and ULPMark-PP, the Radio Manager and IO Manager are not required.
In order to run the benchmark and submit scores, you must obtain a license. EEMBC is a US 501(c)6 non-profit, funded by membership dues and licensing fees. Please fill out an information request to obtain information on licensing.