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This paper presents and analyzes a fully digital instruction-cycle-based dynamic voltage scaling (iDVS) power management strategy for low-power processor designs. The proposed iDVS technique is fully compatible with conventional DVS scheduler algorithms. An additional computer aided design-based design flow was embedded in a standard cell library to implement the iDVS-based processor in highly integrated system-on-a-chip applications. The lattice asynchronous self-timed control digital low-dropout regulator with swift response and low quiescent current was also utilized to improve iDVS voltage transition response. Results show that the iDVS-based processor with the proposed adaptive instruction cycle control scheme can efficiently perform millions of instructions per second during iDVS transition. The iDVS-based digital signal processor chip was implemented in a HH-NEC 0.18-μm standard complementary metal-oxide semiconductor. Measurement results show that the voltage tracking speed with 11.6 V/μs saved 53% power.