Today, "It is nearly impossible to make accurate comparisons among competing processors because every vendor has its own measurement methods," says EEMBC President Markus Levy.

"EEMBC's new power metric will fill this knowledge gap by providing data on how much power and energy a processor consumes when running a real application and not just arbitrarily chosen test vectors."

The new metric will also give designers insights into the "cost" of a device's performance in terms of power budget by deriving a performance/energy number from the consolidated performance score in each benchmark suite. For example, it will be possible to calculate a "Netmarks per Joule" score for devices tested against EEMBC's networking benchmarks, or a "Telemarks per Joule" score for devices tested against its telecomm benchmarks. Details of how EEMBC measures energy consumption (once finalized) will be available for download on the Consortium Web site.