White Paper: Test & Measurement

Testing and Optimizing Low-Power Designs

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Power consumption is a key performance parameter for almost every electronics device. Conserving energy is good for the environment and has a large impact on operational costs, customer experience, and a solution's lifetime. Low power consumption is relevant for all electronic devices, whether powered by the grid, a large battery pack, a coin size battery, or energy harvesting.

As the Internet of Things (IoT) grows more popular, low-power design becomes more important for battery-powered devices. They rely on low-power wireless technologies such as Bluetooth® Low Energy, NB-IoT, LoRaWAN, or Sigfox. Batteries in IoT devices often have to last 10 years or more, such as those in smart water meters. Delivering this kind of low power consumption involves more than just low-power technologies and components.

Manufacturers have to make sure that their wireless de¬vices provide optimal RF performance to ensure smooth ¬communications in all situations and locations. The impact of poor RF performance on power consumption is of¬ten underestimated; sending a message twice more than doubles the time on air and the power consumption. This makes verify¬ing RF performance in the transmission and receiving path essential.

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