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Energy-efficient design of battery-powered systems demands optimizations in both hardware and software. The authors present a modular approach for enhancing instruction level simulators with cycle-accurate simulation of energy dissipation in embedded systems. The methodology has tightly coupled component models thus making the approach more accurate. Performance and energy computed by the simulator are within a 5% tolerance of hardware measurements on the SmartBadge. They show how the simulation methodology can be used for hardware design exploration aimed at enhancing the SmartBadge with real time MPEG video feature.
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