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Techniques for energy-efficient communication pipeline design

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2 Author(s)
Gang Qu ; Electr. & Comput. Eng. Dept., Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA ; Potkonjak, M.

The performance of many modern computer and communication systems is dictated by the latency of communication pipelines. At the same time, power/energy consumption is often another limiting factor in many portable systems. We address the problem of how to minimize the power consumption in system-level pipelines under latency constraints. In particular, we apply fragmentation technique to achieve parallelism and exploit advantages provided by variable voltage design methodology to optimally select voltage and, therefore, speed of each pipeline stage. We focus our study on the practical case when each pipeline stage operates at a fixed speed. Unlike the conventional pipeline system, where all stages run at the same speed, our system may have different stages running at different speeds to conserve energy while providing guaranteed latency. For a given latency requirement, we find explicit solutions for the most energy efficient fragmentation and and voltage setting. We further study a less practical case when each stage can dynamically change its speed to get further energy saving. We define the problem and transform it to a nonlinear system whose solution provides a lower bound for energy consumption.

Published in:

Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 5 )