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Developing low-power products with wide dynamic current ranges is new to many engineers and their managers. Even experienced engineers have to learn a few new tricks to effectively develop these types of products (we did!). The resources on this page should be helpful to those new to this aspect of electronic product development.

Product App Notes

Using a µCurrent Probe as a DAQ Pre-Amplifier
There are times when monitoring current levels over an extended period of time is required. This could be while conducting a voltage/temperature range test on a product, recording the output of an energy harvesting power source over a range of conditions or other such test lasting hours, days or longer. In these situations, pairing a CMicrotek µCurrent Probe with a data acquisition system (DAQ) can be beneficial.
View on-line | Download PDF (402KB)

Low-Current Measurement Whitepapers

Design for Current Measurements
There is more to designing for current measurements than simplying putting a sense resistor at the power input to a circuit board. This paper offers several design tips to help you to take better current measurements and make sense of them.
View on-line | Download PDF (197KB)

The Need for High Resolution, Wide Dynamic Range Current Measurements
There are several issues with using the traditional sense resistor and scope method for taking current measurements on today's low-power products, particularly with modern microprocessor based, software driven electronic products. This paper discusses those issues and provides some insight on important characteristics to look for in equipment for ultra-low current and power measurements.
View on-line | Download PDF (653KB)

Accurate Current Measurements with Oscilloscopes
Most oscilloscopes have surprisingly poor accuracy in their voltage measurements, particularly in their lower volts/division settings where low-current measurements are typically taken. This paper discusses scope voltage measurement accuracy and shows a real world comparison of a current waveform captured with a common scope probe and sense resistor and a waveform captured using the CMicrotek µCP100 current probe on the same scope.
View on-line | Download PDF (100KB)

Low Power Design e-book

Most of the information on the web on low-power design is about hardware design (and mostly the same basic information repeated over and over) yet the firmware will often determine whether a product meets its power targets or not. Our 41 page "Low Power Design"e-book offers tips and techniques for low power hardware and firmware design, much of it may seem obvious while some of it can be very counter-intuitive. The e-book covers these topics and more:
  • Microcontroller selection
  • Split power rails & powering down circuitry
  • Voltage regulator simplicity vs. efficiency
  • Selecting a battery technology
  • Impact of heat on power consumption
  • Structuring firmware for low power
  • Arrays, pointer and structures
  • Floating point math and complex algorithms
Download Low Power Design e-book.
Click here to view the Table of Contents from the Low Power Design e-book.

External links for low-power design
There is a considerable amount of information on design for battery-powered and other low-power products on the web. Here are a few places to start. Please help us build up this list by letting us know about the other blogs and websites that you like that focus on low power design.

µPower AnalyzerTM and µCurrent ProbeTM are trademarks of CMicrotek, LLC
Copyright 2017 CMicrotek, LLC
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