Power Optimization using Dynamic Power Management

José C. Monteiro

Power dissipation has recently emerged as one the most critical design constraints. A wide range of techniques has already been proposed for the optimization of logic circuits for low power. Power management methods are among the most effective techniques for power reduction. These methods detect periods of time during which parts of the circuit are not doing useful work and shut them down by either turning off the power supply or the clock signal.Several methods have been presented that perform shutdown on a clock-cycle base. Depending on the input conditions at the beginning of a clock-cycle, the clock driving some of the registers in the circuit can be inhibited, thus reducing the switching activity in the fan-out of those registers. These techniques are referred to as data-dependent or dynamic power management techniques.In this tutorial we will describe some of the most representative data-dependent power management techniques that have recently been proposed, namely: pre-computation, guarded evaluation, gated-clock finite state machines (FSM)'s and FSM decomposition. Each of these techniques uses a different approach to identify the input conditions for which the circuit (or part of) can be disabled. These techniques are put into perspective and recent results are discussed.

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