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Low Power Design

Hotspot hot potato

Normally, silicon scaling is a good thing. Except when you are making power devices, as people working in the automotive semiconductor business explained at the Design Automation and Test in Europe (DATE) conference this week in Dresden. Klaus Meder, president of the automotive electronics division at Robert Bosch, explained in his keynote speech that denser devices are causing headaches when ...

MSP430 clones explore limits of MCU power

The Texas Instruments MSP430 is practically synonymous with low-power processors and, although the company may not care much for the idea of clones of the architecture appearing, that is being helped by a crop of research processors that explore the limits of the threshold voltage of CMOS transistors. These designs are helping to push the MSP430 into lower-power territory than ...

Renesas promotes work on power-saving micros

Yoichi Yano, executive vice president of Renesas Electronics made energy saving the theme of his keynote at this week’s International Solid State Circuits Conference, describing some of the techniques the company is putting into action to make silicon suitable for self-powered sensor nodes.

TI promotes low power at ISSCC

The International Solid State Circuits Conference kicks off next week and Texas Instruments, which unveiled a low-energy digital signal processor last year based on near-threshold logic circuitry, is keen to tout its involvement in more low-power work this year.

Clock-speed slowdown continues

It’s no secret that the clock speeds of processors have hit a glass ceiling. But until the latest iteration of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors, we still expected them to increase by close to 10 per cent a year. Not anymore. The slow rise has been replaced by a crawl that acknowledges the need to keep both cost and ...

ITRS 2011 published

The 2011 International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS), finalised late last year, has been publicly released. The roadmap looks at the problems facing the chipmaking industry from now until 2026 and includes some updates that focus on low-power design. The slides prepared by Andrew Kahng on design, for example, show how expectations on power have changed – and in a quite ...

The unpredictable world of x86 energy consumption

Power consumption is hard to predict even with a reasonable amount of architectural information and that is underlined in a paper that appeared at the Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS) conference last April. but recently picked up by LinuxDevices. In the paper, the researchers argue that processor maker need to make power information for their products ...

Accellera puts next release of SystemC library up for review

Transaction-level modelling and system-level analysis are important tasks for any low-power design activity given the major savings that can be made at this level: simply stopping transactions from repeating needlessly pays big in terms of reducing circuit activity and, with it, energy usage. So, a new release in the SystemC world is something to watch and version 2.3 of the ...