Low Power Circuit Synthesis for Advanced Manufacturing Technologies

David Nguyen, Abhijit Davare, and Michael Orshansky1
(Professor Kurt Keutzer)

Low power design methods are becoming more important as power consumption increases. The effects of higher power consumption include: (1) increased costs, because the extra heat generated must be combated by expensive packaging technology; (2) reduced reliability because of physical effects like electromigration; and (3) shortened overall battery life in portable devices. In our methodology, we propose to take advantage of advances in manufacturing technologies. Advanced manufacturing technology allows the production of circuits with dual supply and threshold voltage levels. Multiple voltage levels can be exploited to trade off power consumption and circuit speed. Because most combinational circuits contain many sub-critical paths, the delay of some circuit components can safely be increased, which results in reduced power consumption. Our research aims to develop a set of efficient algorithms to assign threshold and supply voltages to gates and perform gate sizing in a way that preserves the overall performance of the circuit while maximally reducing power. Our current approach is based on a heuristic that uses linear programming (LP) and integer-linear programming (ILP) to perform the assignment.

1Postdoctoral Researcher

Send mail to the author : (davare@eecs.berkeley.edu)

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