Mobility

Low Power or High Performance? a Tradeoff Whose Time Has Come (and Nearly Gone)

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Executive Summary

Some have argued that the dichotomy between high-performance operation and low resource utilization is false - an artifact that will soon succumb to Moore's Law and careful engineering. If such claims prove to be true, then the traditional 8/16- vs. 32-bit power-performance tradeoffs become irrelevant, at least for some low-power embedded systems. The authors explore the veracity of this paper using the 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3 microprocessor and find quite substantial progress but not deliverance. The Cortex-M3, compared to 8/16-bit microcontrollers, reduces latency and energy consumption for computationally intensive tasks as well as achieves near parity on code density.

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