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Guarded evaluation: pushing power management to logic synthesis/design

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3 Author(s)
V. Tiwari ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Princeton Univ., NJ, USA ; S. Malik ; P. Ashar

The need to reduce the power consumption of the next generation of digital systems is clearly recognized at all levels of system design. At the system level, power management is a very powerful technique and delivers large and unambiguous savings. The ideas behind power management can be extended to the logic level. This would involve determining which parts of a circuit are computing results that will be used and which are not. The parts that are not needed are then “shut off”. This paper describes an approach termed guarded evaluation, which is an implementation of this idea. A theoretical framework and the algorithms that form the basis of the approach are presented. The underlying idea is to automatically determine the parts of the circuit that can be disabled on a per-clock-cycle basis. This saves the power used in all the useless transitions in those parts of the circuit. Initial experiments indicate substantial power savings and the strong potential of this approach for a large number of benchmark circuits. While this paper presents the development of these ideas at the logic level of design, the same ideas have direct application at the register-transfer level of design also

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 10 )