Basic Low Power Digital Design

  • Preeti Ranjan Panda
  • Aviral Shrivastava
  • B. V. N. Silpa
  • Krishnaiah Gummidipudi


Moore’s law [12], which states that the “number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit will double approximately every two years,” has often been subject to the following criticism: while it boldly states the blessing of technology scaling, it fails to expose its bane. A direct consequence of Moore’s law is that the “power density of the integrated circuit increases exponentially with every technology generation”. History is witness to the fact that this was not a benign outcome. This implicit trend has arguably brought about some of the most important changes in electronic and computer designs. Since the 1970s, most popular electronics manufacturing technologies used bipolar and nMOS transistors. However, bipolar and nMOS transistors consume energy even in a stable combinatorial state, and consequently, by 1980s, the power density of bipolar designs was considered too high to be sustainable. IBM and Cray started developing liquid, and nitrogen cooling solutions for high-performance computing systems [5, 11, 16, 19, 21, 23–25]. The 1990s saw an inevitable switch to a slower, but lower-power CMOS technology (Fig. 2.1). CMOS transistors consume lower power largely because, to a first order of approximation, power is dissipated only when they switch states, and not when the state is steady. Now, in the late 2000s, we are witnessing a paradigm shift in computing: the shift to multi-core computing. The power density has once again increased so much that there is little option but to keep the hardware simple, and transfer complexity to higher layers of the system design abstraction, including software layers.


Threshold Voltage Critical Path Reduce Power Consumption Leakage Power nMOS Transistor 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Preeti Ranjan Panda
    • 1
  • Aviral Shrivastava
    • 2
  • B. V. N. Silpa
    • 1
  • Krishnaiah Gummidipudi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department Computer Science and EngineeringIndian Institute of TechnologyNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Computer Science and EngineeringArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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