Getting Rid Of Heat In Chips

Power consumed by semiconductors creates heat, which must be removed from the device, but how to do this efficiently is a growing challenge. Heat is the waste product of semiconductors. It is produced when power is dissipated in devices and along wires. Power is consumed when devices switch, meaning that it is dependent upon activity, and that power is constantly being wasted by imperfect de... » read more

Holistic Power Reduction

The power consumption of a device is influenced by every stage of the design, development, and implementation process, but identifying opportunities to save power no longer can be just about making hardware more efficient. Tools and methodologies are in place for most of the power-saving opportunities, from RTL down through implementation, and portions of the semiconductor industry already a... » read more

Is AI Sustainable? Five Ways To Reduce Its Carbon Footprint

Forget adding bunny ears to your selfie; AI has long since grown up and begun tackling tough, environmental problems. Its data-crunching superpowers make it ideal for everything from ocean monitoring to climate change prediction modeling. But training AI models requires vast amounts of energy, so do the benefits outweigh the environmental cost? In short, is AI sustainable? Sustainable AI: fact... » read more

Constraints On The Electricity Grid

I recently wrote about Moss Landing, the biggest grid battery storage operation in the world. I discovered from talking to a friend recently that most people have no idea what constraints the electricity grid operates under. I think most politicians are the same, and they assume that if we build enough windmills and solar panels then we can live in some sort of eco-nirvana. But that's not goin... » read more

Benefits Of Multilevel Topologies In Power-Efficient Energy Storage Systems (ESS)

In this paper, we discuss the adaption of efficient energy storage systems (ESS) in residential solar and utility-scale applications. System requirements and possible topologies are looked into. For utility-scale, we introduce a multilevel converter topology concept. Click here to read more.   » read more

Design Support For A Green IoT

By Dirk Mayer and Roland Jancke The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly all around the world. New devices are continually being added, all collecting a variety of data and transmitting them (often wirelessly) to edge devices, which in turn relay the data to the cloud for further processing. It is estimated that in a few years IoT devices will be responsible for over 20% of global ene... » read more

Von Neumann Upset

My recent article about the von Neumann architecture received some quite passionate responses, including one that thought I was attempting to slight the person. That was most certainly not the intent, given that the invention enabled a period of very rapid advancement in computers and technology in general. The process of invention and engineering are both quite similar and yet different. In... » read more

Is Computing Facing An Energy Crisis?

Is the end near? If the topic is energy efficiency gains in computing, the answer depends on whom you ask. The steady increase in performance per watt over the decades has been one of the most important drivers in our industry. Last year I was thumbing through a neighbor’s 1967 Motorola IC catalog that featured such space age wonders as a small control chip of the sort that went into th... » read more

Fast, Low-Power Inferencing

Power and performance are often thought of as opposing goals, opposite sides of the same coin if you will. A system can be run really fast, but it will burn a lot of power. Ease up on the accelerator and power consumption goes down, but so does performance. Optimizing for both power and performance is challenging. Inferencing algorithms for Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) are compute int... » read more

Low Power Still Leads, But Energy Emerges As Future Focus

In 2021 and beyond, chips used in smartphones, digital appliances, and nearly all major applications will need to go on a diet. As the amount of data being generated continues to swell, more processors are being added everywhere to sift through that data to determine what's useful, what isn't, and how to distribute it. All of that uses power, and not all of it is being done as efficiently as... » read more

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