Systems & Design

Synthesis Of Energy-Efficient FSMs Implemented In PLD Circuits

Using clock gating to selectively block a clock signal as a way of lowering power in finite state machines.


The paper presents an outline of a simple synthesis method of energy-efficient FSMs. The idea consists in using local clock gating to selectively block the clock signal, if no transition of a state of a memory element is required. The research was dedicated to logic circuits using Programmable Logic Devices as the implementation platform, but the conclusions can be applied to any synchronous circuit. The experimental section reports a comparison of three methods of implementing sequential circuits in PLDs with respect to clock distribution: the classical fully synchronous structure, the structure exploiting the Enable Clock inputs of memory elements, and the structure using clock gating. The results show that the approach based on clock gating is the most efficient one, and it leads to significant reduction of dynamic power consumed by the FSM.

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