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Power consumption and power-related issues have become a first-order concern for most designs and loom as fundamental barriers for many others. While the primary method used to date for reducing power has been supply voltage reduction, this technique begins to lose its effectiveness as voltages drop to below one volt and further reductions in the supply voltage begin to create more problems than are solved. Under these circumstances, the process of design and the automation tools required to support that process become the critical success factors. In the last decade, huge effort has been invested to come up with a wide range of design solutions that help solve the power dissipation problem for different types of electronic devices, components and systems. These techniques range from RTL power management and multiple voltage assignment, to power-aware logic synthesis and physical design, to memory and bus interface design. A number of representative low-power design techniques from this large set are explained. More precisely, basic techniques are described, that are applicable at RT-level and below, and have proved to hold good potential for power optimisation in practical design environments.