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How to Calculate the Battery Life of Your RSL10 Design

by  Brandon Shannon  - 2021-06-01 

If you are considering or are currently developing on the RSL10 Bluetooth® Low Energy radio, power consumption and battery life are likely some of the first things that crossed your mind when defining your design priorities. With the current trends in the wireless industry mandating a rich feature set while maintaining a strict energy budget that small form factors demand, the RSL10 fits this role perfectly and is easily capable of achieving 10-year battery life off a single battery and even from sustainable energy sources. As a Bluetooth® Low Energy radio with an industry-leading ultra-low-power operating mode, it is no surprise that the RSL10 excels under these constraints.

With any wireless design, there are sure to be trade-offs between the Bluetooth Low Energy features required and the power consumption and battery life of the final solution. Aspects such as your communication intervals and data transmission configurations can be the difference between several days and several years when discussing the battery life of a product. The question then becomes, “how can we balance operating conditions and system needs while maximizing battery longevity?” To help answer this question, look no further than the RSL10 Power Consumption and Battery Estimator spreadsheet tool

Figure 1. Current consumption diagram depicting the input parameter dependencies of a Bluetooth Low Energy non-connectable advertising event.

In order to provide an accurate estimate of the RSL10’s power consumption under various Bluetooth Low Energy operating conditions, we set up several firmware variants on the RSL10 hardware and measured the current and voltage of each. By sweeping these firmware versions across key operation criteria- such as communication intervals, battery voltages, data payload sizes and radio transmit power- we have been able to develop an understanding of how each impacted the overall power consumption. Finally, combining this understanding with the measurements obtained from extensive trials, we created a comprehensive set of characterization models that are accurate +/- 10% of what will be experienced during real-world operating conditions.  

 

Figure 2. The visual basics for applications User Interface used to quickly calculate estimates within the spreadsheet tool

To present these models and estimates in an accessible and transparent fashion, we have developed a spreadsheet and complimentary visual basics for applications user interface that allows a user to input their operating conditions and rapidly generate an array of current consumption and battery life information about their desired functionality. This tool makes it simple work for users to rapidly estimate the power consumption of a specific use-case while enabling users to compare and contrast how adjusting certain operating parameters impacts the expected battery life of a product and provides an estimate in years for your specific use-case. Best of all, the tool comes equipped with available hex files used to construct the power profiler for you to experience the estimates on your RSL10 development system.

The spreadsheet also includes several graphical aids intended to help engineers develop a deeper understanding of how their decisions impact the overall power consumption of their firmware, allowing for a more comprehensive experience.  

The RSL10 Power Consumption and Battery Estimator is an easy-to-use, accurate tool that allows you to calculate and verify the exact power measurements for your IoT device and specific use-cases. When it comes to battery life, we all want to know exactly what we have.

Get started with the RSL10 Power Consumption and Battery Estimator tool today, and check out the below development resources!

Development Resources

 

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