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Posts Tagged ‘low-power’

The Power of Dynamic Voltage Frequency Scaling

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Battery life in consumer electronics is dependent on the dynamic power behavior of their integrated circuits.  If that dynamic behavior can be adjusted to fit the task at hand, then considerable power savings can be realized.  In CMOS circuits most of the dynamic power is consumed in the parasitic capacitance of their digital gates.

The equation for dynamic or transient power can be written as follows:

pwr-eqn
where

pwr-eqn-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

The combination of supply voltage and frequency has a cubic impact on total power dissipation because dynamic power consumption has a quadratic dependence on voltage and a linear dependence on frequency. An intelligent power savings solution would reduce operating frequency and, at the same time, reduce the supply voltage. Some example commercial implementations of dynamic voltage frequency scaling (DVFS) technology are Intel’s SpeedStep and AMD’s PowerNow.  According to the 2014 Calypto RTL Power Reduction Survey, 24% of designs used DVFS.

Click here to read the rest of this article originally published on EETimes SoC Designlines.

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SoC Power Management: Which Power are We Talking About?

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

I agree with the observation that low-power is a largely unsolved problem. We have seen a tremendous change in the past decade and a half in low-power research, particularly in the context of micro-architecture for small devices and embedded systems. The chief catalyst for this research is the unprecedented growth in the proliferation of handheld mobile devices. In today’s design flows, power management has emerged as the second most important challenge, next only to timing closure, ahead of meeting timing and area goals and taping out on schedule.

Process technology for low-power gains has come a long way. In the early days, a low-power process typically meant a 20% hit in performance. Such performance hits are no longer acceptable, and process technology has improved to offer several standard cell height choices with different threshold voltages for different performance, power and density tradeoffs. Despite all these advances, process technology will not deliver all the gains needed in an optimal low-power device. See the figure below. (more…)

Billion Dollar Unicorns

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

unicorn_final_full-1[1]

Courtesy of Fortune Magazine, illustration by Jeremy Enecio.

The business magazine, Fortune, in a Feb. 2015 article proclaimed The Age of Unicorns  — private companies valued at more than $1 billion by investors. Unicorns are the stuff of myth, but billion-dollar tech start-ups seem to be everywhere, backed by a bull market and a new generation of disruptive technology.  According to a recent New York Times article, there are over 50 unicorns in Silicon Valley right now.

Upcoming unicorns formed a popular discussion topic at the Confluence 2015 conference organized by Zinnov, on March 12th in Santa Clara, Calif. The conference theme was “Building the Technology Organizations of Tomorrow”.

Here is a sampling of six unicorns that have emerged as real winners using innovative strategies: (more…)

P2415 – New IEEE Power Standard for Unified Hardware Abstraction

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

The IEEE announced in September that is was launching working a on a new power standard called P2415. This blog gives the background for this new effort.

The current low power design and verification standard (IEEE 1801-2013 and IEEE P1801) is focused on the voltage distribution structure in design at Register Transfer Level (RTL) description and below. It has minimal abstraction for time (having only an interval function for modeling clock frequency), but depends on other hardware oriented standards to abstract events, scenarios, clock trees, etc. which are required for energy proportional design, verification, modeling and management of electronic systems. The necessary abstractions of hardware, as well as layers and interfaces in software are not yet defined by any existing standards. (more…)

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