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Energy efficiency is an emerging metric for the quality of integrated circuit designs. Applications ranging from wireless sensor networks to RFID tags to embedded microprocessors require extremely low power consumption to maintain good battery life. We advocate the use of aggressively scaled supply voltages in such applications to maximize energy efficiency. This paper reviews our recent progress in mapping out the low energy design space including the presence of an energy-optimal supply voltage, and also touches on complications arising from variability at low supply voltages. We conclude with a survey of open research directions in the ultra-low voltage design space.
System-on-Chip, 2007 International Symposium on
Date of Conference: 20-21 Nov. 2007