Improving battery-powered device operation time thanks to power efficient sleep mode
S. Genevey, C. Dominguez

Allowing battery-powered devices to run, without battery recharge, for years rather than
months, partakes in enhancing significantly end-user satisfaction and is a key point to
enabling the emergence of IoT applications. Numerous applications, such as M2M, BLE,
Zigbee…, have an activity rate (duty cycle) such that the power consumption in sleep mode
dominates the overall current drawn by the SoC (System on Chip). For such applications, the
design of the “Always-On power domain” (a.k.a AON power domain) is pivotal.

To extend the operation time of such battery-operated SoC by x2 to x20, it is interesting to
reach a current consumption below 500 nA for the Always-On power domain. Different
architectures for Always-On power domains and their related performances are discussed in
the following sections.

In the first part of this article, the architecture and the most common characteristics of the
Always-On domain are presented. In the second part, the benefits and the ways to reduce
the power consumption of the Always-On domain are illustrated. Finally, in the last part,
various implementations of Always-ON domains are compared regarding their benefits in
terms of current consumption, BoM (Bill-Of-Material) cost and silicon area.


To go further, discover the video of our webinar “Recipe to consume less than 0.5 µA in sleep mode” on our private space, MyDolphin. Request an access if you do not have one yet.

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