Fred Pollack of Intel first noted a rather alarming trend in his keynote at MICRO-32 in 1999. He made the now well-known observation that power density is increasing at an alarming rate, approaching that of the hottest man-made objects on the planet, as shown below.
The power density trend versus power design requirements for modern SoCs is shown below. The widening gap represents the most critical challenge that designers of wireless, consumer, portable, and other electronic products face today.
Meanwhile, the design efforts in managing power are rising due to the necessity to design for low-power as well as for performance and costs. This has ramifications for engineering productivity, as it impacts schedules and risk.
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