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The Echidna is a device for performing energy measurements in low-voltage systems. It was designed and manufactured in-house by David Snowdon at ERTOS. It uses an MCP3909 energy metering IC, an MSP430F149 microcontroller, and an FT232R USB to serial IC. These perform the measurements, control and perform local signal processing, and provide a connection to a host PC, respectively.

The programmable on-board microcontroller allows for flexibility when implementing triggering and measurement schemes, while having a minimal impact on the power used by the system under test. This device has been used extensively for the measurement of the power used by laptops and embedded devices for various research projects (see Power Management).

The hardware, firmware and support utility for Echidna have been released under an open-hardware, and BSD license respectively. Documentation is available as a PDF, and CAD files are available in Altium Designer 2004 format. Download the archive here:


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