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Energy-harvesting devices are one giant step closer to simpler, greener technology. They derive power from solar, thermal, wind, and kinetic energy without all the messy wires and batteries.

The problem?

Software runs best in uninterrupted, continuously-powered systems. Unfortunately, energy-harvesting devices experience frequent power failures and interruptions, especially when they need to get juiced up. The constant cycle of charging and discharging makes the interruptions—and resulting program errors—unavoidable.

These errors must be debugged. Unfortunately, conventional debuggers don’t work because they interfere with the target’s power supply.

That’s why researchers propose the Energy-Interference-Free Debugger (EDB), a tool that can debug while monitoring and manipulating the target’s energy level without permitting any significant current to flow between the debugger and the target.

Read more about this energy-efficient system in the May/June 2017 issue of IEEE Micro.