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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Task Scheduling to Constrain Peak Current Consumption in Wearable Healthcare Sensors

Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6AY, UK
IO Senses Ltd, Reading RG1 3BJ, UK
Department of Information Technology, Techno India College of Technology, West Bengal 740000, India
Department of Telematic Engineering, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Leganés, 28911 Madrid, Spain
School of Computer & Communication Engineering, Changsha University of Science & Technology, Changsha 410114, China
College of Information and Engineering, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou 325035, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Electronics 2019, 8(7), 789;
Received: 30 May 2019 / Revised: 10 July 2019 / Accepted: 12 July 2019 / Published: 15 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low-power Wearable Healthcare Sensors)
PDF [1965 KB, uploaded 15 July 2019]
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Small embedded systems, in our case wearable healthcare devices, have significant engineering challenges to reduce their power consumption for longer battery life, while at the same time supporting ever-increasing processing requirements for more intelligent applications. Research has primarily focused on achieving lower power operation through hardware designs and intelligent methods of scheduling software tasks, all with the objective of minimizing the overall consumed electrical power. However, such an approach inevitably creates points in time where software tasks and peripherals coincide to draw large peaks of electrical current, creating short-term electrical stress for the battery and power regulators, and adding to electromagnetic interference emissions. This position paper proposes that the power profile of an embedded device using a real-time operating system (RTOS) will significantly benefit if the task scheduler is modified to be informed of the electrical current profile required for each task. This enables the task scheduler to schedule tasks that require large amounts of current to be spread over time, thus constraining the peak current that the system will draw. We propose a solution to inform the task scheduler of a tasks’ power profile, and we discuss our application scenario, which clearly benefited from the proposal. View Full-Text
Keywords: wearable; low-power; embedded; task scheduler; healthcare wearable; low-power; embedded; task scheduler; healthcare

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Sherratt, R.S.; Janko, B.; Hui, T.; Harwin, W.S.; Dey, N.; Díaz-Sánchez, D.; Wang, J.; Shi, F. Task Scheduling to Constrain Peak Current Consumption in Wearable Healthcare Sensors. Electronics 2019, 8, 789.

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