EEMBC Standardizes on NI LabVIEW, PXI Data Acquisition for Silicon Energy Consumption Test

February 15, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

National Instruments has announced that the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium (EEMBC) has standardized on the NI LabVIEW graphical development environment and NI PXI data acquisition hardware to implement EnergyBench, a new EEMBC metric that shows the energy a processor uses to run EEMBC performance benchmarks.

Leading silicon vendors, such as Analog Devices, Freescale Semiconductor and National Semiconductor, rely on EEMBC standard performance benchmarks to evaluate hardware and software used in embedded systems.

"EnergyBench allows system designers to make intelligent trade-offs between performance and power because it shows just how much energy a processor consumes when running a real application, instead of arbitrarily chosen test vectors," said Markus Levy, EEMBC president. "The tight integration of National Instruments LabVIEW and PXI data acquisition hardware makes it easy for silicon vendors to get their tests up and running quickly to begin making apples to apples comparisons between processors."

The LabVIEW graphical development environment integrates with NI PXI data acquisition hardware to provide engineers with a quick and low-cost approach to evaluating silicon, company officials said. By using a PXI-based platform, they can simply add more I/O modules for CAN, general purpose interface bus (GPIB), serial or analog I/O as other benchmarks for performance analysis require. In all cases, they can reuse the same LabVIEW software paradigm.

The National Instruments virtual instrumentation approach gives silicon vendors the power and flexibility to define their own test harnesses by combining software running on PC technologies and modular, high-performance measurement hardware for more productive, lower-cost solutions. Ultimately, they reduce design time because they can more quickly evaluate silicon families during the actual design process rather than discovering insufficient processor I/O capabilities at a later stage in the design flow.

EEMBC, the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium, develops and certifies real-world benchmarks and benchmark scores to help designers select the right embedded processors for their systems. Every processor submitted for EEMBC benchmarking is tested for parameters representing different workloads and capabilities in communications, networking, consumer, office automation, automotive/industrial, embedded Java, and microcontroller-related applications. With members including leading semiconductor, intellectual property and compiler companies, EEMBC establishes benchmark standards and provides certified benchmarking results through the EEMBC Certification Labs (ECL).