C.H.I.P. Power consumption


Did not find any in the spec. What is power consumption in standby/idle/working?


On a related note, is there any scope for underclocking to lower consumption and reduce thermal issues?


Got my CHIP today. Here’s my test result using legion USB meter:

  • Idle: ~0.25 A (one spike of 0.33 A observed per minute)
  • CPU full load: ~ 0.5 A (cat /dev/zero > /dev/null)
  • Idle and connected to wireless AP: ~0.25 A (a few spike of 0.33 A observed per minute)
  • Downloading file with WiFi: 0.33 ~ 0.6 A (fluctuate between 0.33 - 0.45 most of the time)


Thanks for the numbers ugcity. So the board is running somewhere between 1.25 and 3 Watts.


Thanks for posting your observations.

From the CHIP documentation

In general, CHIP is powered by a 5-volt source like a USB port or phone charger, and draws about 300mA peak (at boot time), runs on around 100mA, and rests with around 80mA with the processor totally unloaded.

The numbers are from when CHIP was using the R8M module instead of the production CHIPs discrete R8, DRAM and NAND chips.

Your observations are considerably higher and may explain part of the power problems people are experiencing with the production CHIPs currently shipping.

Can you share some details on your setup.

  1. How are you powering your CHIP (e.g. 5V 1A phone charger connected to microUSB port)?

  2. Are any peripherals connected to the larger USB-A port or GPIO headers?

  3. Is the composite out or audio out being used?

  4. Are you experiencing any shutdowns or thermal related probelms?

  5. Any other problems out-of-the-box?

  6. What are you using your CHIP for?



Wow 3 times higher idle current than with the r8m… Now it’s useless as a mobile device. Your battery is going to last 10 hours vs 30. Not to mention the other stuff like 1 mounting hole. I’m very disappointed they should have just delayed shipment.

Not to mention all these useless components they are using like external regulators for the 1.8v when their PMIC supports like 5 separate regulators internally. Potentially you could make chip even cheaper if you optimized this junk. Somehow they even had extra money to silkscreen the headers…

  1. I connected a USB power bank which has max output of 2.1 A to the micro USB port on CHIP.

  2. I connected the Ground, UART-TX and UART-RX pin to my CP2102 UART-USB adaptor. No other peripherals connected.

  3. Composite and audio out is not being used

  4. I tried to use the USB port of my desktop to power it up, but the CHIP would shut down randomly.

  5. After rebooting the CHIP, it would not able to boot up immediately. I have to unplug the USB cable, wait for a minute and re-plug again to boot it up. I think a lot of people have the same issue here.

  6. I was going to use it as mobile station to collect weather info. But consider the current power consumption, it would not be possible without a large battery and solar panel. Hopefully this could be fixed by software update.


I have done some tests using my lab power supply.

The results are here

C.H.I.P. power supply and header connectors

“CHIP v1: idle 230mA, full load 490mA.”

This is consistent with what I have observed on multiple v1 chips. It’s worth noting this is with wifi active and Bluetooth running yet idle. As compared to raspberry Pi which has neither capability on board and runs as noted at…

“Raspberry PI: idle 360mA, full load 430mA
Intel Galileo: idle 520mA, full load 540m”


Independently verifying what renzo has posted, I see an idle power draw of 200mA spiking to 265mA on a v1 CHIP. The second kernel backer CHIP I have rests at 180mA. So yeah, they’re pretty good on power for being an always on full linux desktop with wifi and storage.


If you want to use it as weather station, does it have to be always on? Or could you run it for 2min every 30 min to get 15 the runtime? Just an idea :wink:


I just tried,

apt-get update
apt-get install openjdk-8-jre-headless

And it seems to work just fine. I have not really tested anything yet, other than shoot up “rmid” (which is a Java app) and it complains about security policy (expected).



Did you post in the correct topic? Within the context of this topic, I can’t really make much sense of what you’re saying.


Can Bluetooth be disabled and the CPU underclocked, and/or any other power savings?

Edit: Found it.