Industry White Paper

Battery Drain Analysis for Low-Power IoT Devices

October 14, 2021 by Keysight Technologies Download PDF

Application Note Overview

Low-power devices associated with the Internet of Things (IoT) consume power at highly variable rates, from microseconds to seconds, and from picoamperes to amperes.

It is no longer sufficient for an IoT device to last a few years between battery replacements. Customers often expect 10-year battery life in many applications, and some vendors even advertise “leave for life” or “set and forget” devices that last for the application lifetime, often well beyond a decade. To meet these expectations, chipset designers create integrated circuits with deep sleep modes that consume very little current. These devices have operation modes with slow clock speeds, reduced instruction sets, low battery voltages, and low current consumption. These applications require testing at three to six orders of magnitude of current levels for events lasting microseconds or milliseconds.

This application note discusses why accurate battery drain measurements are critical to achieving the long battery life customers expect. It also demonstrates how engineers can get convenient, fast, and accurate results that properly characterize battery drain on IoT devices.

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