Syncing UART Logs and Power Measurements for Embedded Devices

To gain a good understanding of what really drains energy, a highly effective approach is to link power measurements with the device’s actual behavior. Otii Arc and Ace Pro excel in synchronizing expansion port and power measurements while concurrently capturing and analyzing UART data, providing a robust solution for debugging and optimizing power consumption throughout the development and testing stages. By following these steps, you can extract valuable insights into your device’s operational patterns and make well-informed decisions to craft electronic devices that are both energy-efficient and sustainable.

Step-by-step instructions on using the UART sync

Before you can start synchronizing expansion port and power measurements, you need to connect your embedded device to Otii Arc Pro or Otii Ace Pro. Follow these steps to ensure a seamless setup:

Step 1: Connect your device to the Otii hardware main connection for power supply.

This step provides the necessary power supply to your device, ensuring that it operates as intended during testing.

Step 2: Connect the UART output from your MCU on the device under test to the Otii Arc Pro expansion port RX. If your device can send commands through UART, also connect TX. For Ace, remember to connect DGND to the main ground, as the main channel and expansion port are isolated.

This connection allows Otii Arc/Ace Pro to capture UART data from your device, including debug information and timestamps.

Step 3: Configure the Digital voltage level for your device in the General Settings within the Otii application. Enable the UART channel and choose the correct Baud rate for your device.

Configuring these settings correctly ensures that Otii Arc/Ace Pro can accurately capture and interpret UART data from your device.

Step 4: Analyze the UART prints.

Once you’ve completed the setup, you can start analyzing the UART data. The UART prints will be displayed in real-time within the UART log window. You can choose to view the data with wall time or no time, depending on your preference.

An exceptional feature of Otii Arc Pro is its ability to correlate UART messages with the power consumption graph. When you mark a specific area on the current graph, all the UART messages that occurred within that time-frame are highlighted in the UART log. Additionally, you can also reverse this process by marking one or multiple messages in the UART log, which will then highlight the corresponding time-frame on the current graph. This feature provides you with invaluable insights into how your device’s code execution affects its power consumption.

Step 5: Copy the UART records.

If you need to save or share the UART records for further analysis or documentation, Otii Arc Pro makes it easy. Simply select one or multiple messages, and you can copy them using the standard keyboard shortcut (Ctrl-C/Cmd-C) or by right-clicking and selecting “Copy log.”

Hint: To maximize the efficiency of this setup, remember to disable UART messages in your device’s firmware when it’s ready for production. This prevents unnecessary energy consumption and ensures that your device operates at its most power-efficient state. Here is an example on how UART impacts power consumption.

The ability to synchronize expansion port and power measurements while capturing and analyzing UART data offers a powerful solution for debugging and optimizing power consumption during the development and testing phases. Gain valuable insights in what drains the energy in your device and make informed decisions to create more energy-efficient embedded and IoT devices.

Thanks for the write-up.

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