reducing Arduino Zero Power Consumption down to sub mA

Hi there,

I'm working on a project requiring low power consumption operation of Arduino Zero.

I have found the link from RocketScream: Nevertheless, after using his low-power library, the current dropped a few mA, and I'm now having around 5 mA when arduino Zero is driven from a 12 V power supply to the Vin Pin.

could anyone please share some info to reduce the power consumption? thank you very much !

Hi soleilsword,

Reducing the power consumptions really depends on what your project is trying to achieve.

It’s probably worth reading Chapter 16 - Power Manager (PM) section of the SAMD21 datasheet.

The PM is able to disable selected on-chip peripherals, such as ADC, DAC, timers, RTC and sercom modules. The Arduino Zero core code activates most of these peripherals.

The SAMD21 also has 3 idle modes, at various states of idleness that affect whether the high speed (AHB) and peripheral (APB) buses are active, as well as the lowest power standby mode.

It also supports sleepwalking peripherals that allows them to to be woken up, while the CPU remains in soundly asleep in standby mode.

Hi MartinL,

thank you very much for your reply.

Our project is about the implementation of a data transceiver using arduino zero. Both the input and output of Arduino are serial messages, all my arduino zero is doing is reading serial messages, doing basic software filtering, and sending serial messages (using print command) through another serial port. The arduino zero will be powered by battery. At the moment, the board is running full time at full power. However, the input only occurs at the first 5-10 minutes at each hour. I have implemented a basic interrupt routine to listen to the serial port, and wake up my Arduino Zero. Unfortunately, as already mentioned in the original post, using the library provided by rocketscream didn't help much. The current drawn dropped only a few mA.


The power consumption is likely due to the voltage regulator that is dropping 12 volt down to 3.3 volt. It is a linear voltage regulator I believe and they are not very efficient.

You would need to go for a self build design I should think to remove the linear voltage regulator and replace with a very efficient switch mode design.

The low power consumption figures quoted for these processors when operating or in sleep mode are from the 3.3 volt side, they ignore how that voltage is sourced and what power consumption is used/wasted dropping the voltage down.

A self build design omitting all the voltage regulation stuff and running from a couple of AA batteries using sleep modes would then see the consumption quoted in the datasheets.