Choosing Power-Saving Techniques


Engineers have come up with a long list of ways to save power in chip and system designs, but there are few rules to determine which approaches work best for any given design. There is widespread confusion about what techniques should be used where, which IP or subsystem is best, and how everything should be packaged together. The choices include everything from the proper level of clock and... » read more

Low Power Paradox


Power has been an important design challenge for quite some time. Leakage power started to grow in 90nm, and by 65nm it became a severe design issue. We have built many techniques to address leakage, most notably power gating. These techniques are complex and have an impact on the design as a whole. FinFET technologies are seen as a boon to this issue of leakage. There are references that qu... » read more

Are More Processor Cores Better?


Up until the early 2000s, each generation of processor was faster, used more exotic architectures, had deeper pipelines, used more transistors, ran at higher clock frequencies and consumed more power. In fact power was rising faster than performance and led to the extrapolation that within a few generations, processors would run as hot as nuclear reactors. Something had to change, and that c... » read more

Low-Power Solutions At DAC


By Bhanu Kapoor Power is the main driver of semiconductor process technology related advances recently. One would expect a similar focus in the electronic design automation industry to help designers implement low power designs. However, the latest DAC in San Diego didn’t give the impression that the EDA industry is thinking likewise, perhaps with the exception of verification aspects of low... » read more