WSN Power Issues: Dealing With Dynamic Current Measurements

To maximize battery life, most portable devices including mobile and sensor nodes spend the majority of their operating life time in an idle or sleep mode and operate in short bursts of activity to conserve power. The scenerio causes the battery current drain to go from nA’s and uA’s up to Amps of current.

Unfortunately, traditional test instruments are not well suited for this type of measurement requirement. Now, a new seamless current ranging that addresses the challenges and enables you to see the full picture has been introduced by Agilent Technologies. The two new source measurement unit (SMU) modules eliminate the challenges of measuring dynamic currents with a feature called seamless measurement ranging. As the current drawn by your DUT changes, the Seamless Ranging available on new N6781A and N6782A SMUs automatically detect which current measurement range will return the most precise measurement and change to that range instantaneously.

This gives you an unprecedented vertical resolution like 28 bits and timing resolution of 5µs. which offers unrivalled insights into your DUT’s power consumption. You can now see your complete current waveform, from nA to A, in one pass and one picture.


Agilent Technologies

Watch the video to see how easy is to capture the current drain profile from µA to A’s. (Click sound button to listen)