Balancing Implementation Time, Complexity, Schedule

A number of advanced techniques exist that help the design engineer save power but the cost is obviously implementation time, complexity and schedule.

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Design complexity today is demanding all the creativity a design engineer can muster to figure out the best ways to optimize a design for the power situation the device will be operating under.

Advanced techniques are being leveraged, to be sure, but in varying degrees, perhaps in part because these techniques impact the complexity of the design implementation.

If there are four or five power domains, for example, this directly translates to making sure all power domains are handled, that when they are crossed, the appropriate special cells like level shifters or isolation cells are in place. Of course, these also impact timing.

Then, if there are power domains that are being shut down and then turned back on, the design engineer must be aware of rush current: how those are modeled, how those are analyzed.

Clearly, advanced techniques help save power but the cost comes in the form of implementation time, complexity and schedule.

What’s your experience with this? How do you make the tradeoffs?

We always welcome your feedback.