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Implicit FSM decomposition applied to low-power design

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2 Author(s)
J. C. Monteiro ; Dept. of Informatics, Lisbon Tech. Univ., Lisboa, Portugal ; A. L. Oliveira

Clock-gating techniques are very effective in the reduction of the switching activity in sequential logic circuits. In this paper, we describe a clock-gating technique based on finite-state machine (FSM) decomposition. The approach is based on the computation of two sub-FSMs that together have the same functionality as the original FSM. For all the transitions within one sub-FSM, the clock for the other sub-FSM is disabled. To minimize the average switching activity, we search for a small cluster of states with high stationary state probability and use it to create the small sub-FSM. Explicit manipulation of the state transition graph requires time and space exponential on the number of registers in the circuit, thereby restricting the applicability of explicit methods to relatively small circuits. The approach we propose is based on a method that implicitly performs the FSM decomposition. Using this technique, the FSM decomposition is performed by direct manipulation of the circuit. We provide a set of experiments that show that power consumption can be substantially reduced, in some cases by more than 70%.

Published in:

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