Keynote speaker Professor Takayasu Sakurai, Center for Collaborative Research, University of Tokyo, stated that power issues are becoming a real threat to the continued advance of Moore's Law. Leakage power in particular, he said, will rise dramatically in the next decade as power supplies shrink and can represent nearly one-half of power consumption in 90nm designs. He examined a number of steps being developed to control leakage, including power gating of designs, MTCMOS (Multi-Threshold CMOS) and other advanced process technologies, and several "power-aware" architectures under development in Japan.
Cradle Technologies' Amjad Qureshi, director of hardware engineering, described his experience developing a low-power design flow for a 0.13 micron, multi-million gate CT3600 MDSP (Multi-Core DSP) product with 24 processing cores. He recommends tackling power issues as early in the design cycle as possible and cited his company's use of Sequence's PowerTheater to architect the RTL code, resulting in a 30 percent reduction in power consumption. Cradle, a fabless semiconductor company providing MDSPs for video and imaging systems, is a leader in the fast-growth security and surveillance industry and prides itself on achieving low power consumption across its entire product family.
NEC Electronics' Kotaro Hachiya delivered a talk on power-noise verification and NEC Electronics' experience using Sequence's CoolTime for dynamic power grid analysis.
"Companies attending this seminar are in the three hottest semiconductor markets today: consumer, mobile, and high integration," said Sequence president and CEO, Vic Kulkarni. "Consumer applications are driven by cost, so they must produce the lowest cost, lowest power package possible. Mobile applications are driven by battery life, so power consumption must be reduced as much as possible. And high-integration devices in communications, computing, and networking are burning up from their own heat so they must look for ways to scale down power consumption. Semiconductor companies are investing heavily in these markets and are looking for partners that can help them manage power because it is critical to their success. The record attendance at this seminar proves just how important power is becoming in semiconductor design."
In addition to real-world case studies from invited speakers, the sponsors presented advances in EDA software and hardware specific to low-power design: Sequence addressed physical power optimization and power-grid integrity; Forte covered a power-driven methodology for ESL-to-netlist design flows; and CoWare discussed issues relating to ESL power management.
Sequence Design, Inc. enables SoC designers to bring higher performance and power-aware integrated circuits quickly to fabrication. Sequence's power and signal-integrity EDA software give its customers -- including nine of the top 10 semiconductor companies worldwide -- the competitive advantage necessary to excel in aggressive technology markets, despite demanding complexity and time-to-market issues of nanometer design.
Sequence has worldwide development and field service operations. The company was recently named by Reed Electronics as one of the top 10 companies to watch in the electronics industry, and selected as one of high-tech's Top 100 by siliconindia magazine. Sequence is privately held. Additional information is available at sequencedesign.com.
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