Other affiliations: Texas A&M University, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, IBM ...read more
Bio: David Blaauw is an academic researcher from University of Michigan. The author has contributed to research in topics: CMOS & Low-power electronics. The author has an hindex of 87, co-authored 750 publications receiving 29855 citations. Previous affiliations of David Blaauw include Texas A&M University & University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.
Papers published on a yearly basis
••03 Dec 2003
TL;DR: A solution by which the circuit can be operated even below the ‘critical’ voltage, so that no margins are required and thus more energy can be saved.
Abstract: With increasing clock frequencies and silicon integration, power aware computing has become a critical concern in the design of embedded processors and systems-on-chip. One of the more effective and widely used methods for power-aware computing is dynamic voltage scaling (DVS). In order to obtain the maximum power savings from DVS, it is essential to scale the supply voltage as low as possible while ensuring correct operation of the processor. The critical voltage is chosen such that under a worst-case scenario of process and environmental variations, the processor always operates correctly. However, this approach leads to a very conservative supply voltage since such a worst-case combination of different variabilities is very rare. In this paper, we propose a new approach to DVS, called Razor, based on dynamic detection and correction of circuit timing errors. The key idea of Razor is to tune the supply voltage by monitoring the error rate during circuit operation, thereby eliminating the need for voltage margins and exploiting the data dependence of circuit delay. A Razor flip-flop is introduced that double-samples pipeline stage values, once with a fast clock and again with a time-borrowing delayed clock. A metastability-tolerant comparator then validates latch values sampled with the fast clock. In the event of timing error, a modified pipeline mispeculation recovery mechanism restores correct program state. A prototype Razor pipeline was designed in a 0.18 /spl mu/m technology and was analyzed. Razor energy overhead during normal operation is limited to 3.1%. Analyses of a full-custom multiplier and a SPICE-level Kogge-Stone adder model reveal that substantial energy savings are possible for these devices (up to 64.2%) with little impact on performance due to error recovery (less than 3%).
••01 May 2002
TL;DR: It is argued that the use of drowsy caches can simplify the design and control of low-leakage caches, and avoid the need to completely turn off selected cache lines and lose their state.
Abstract: On-chip caches represent a sizable fraction of the total power consumption of microprocessors. Although large caches can significantly improve performance, they have the potential to increase power consumption. As feature sizes shrink, the dominant component of this power loss will be leakage. However, during a fixed period of time the activity in a cache is only centered on a small subset of the lines. This behavior can be exploited to cut the leakage power of large caches by putting the cold cache lines into a state preserving, low-power drowsy mode. Moving lines into and out of drowsy state incurs a slight performance loss. In this paper we investigate policies and circuit techniques for implementing drowsy caches. We show that with simple architectural techniques, about 80%-90% of the cache lines can be maintained in a drowsy state without affecting performance by more than 1%. According to our projections, in a 0.07um CMOS process, drowsy caches will be able to reduce the total energy (static and dynamic) consumed in the caches by 50%-75%. We also argue that the use of drowsy caches can simplify the design and control of low-leakage caches, and avoid the need to completely turn off selected cache lines and lose their state.
••22 Jan 2010
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors define and explore near-threshold computing (NTC), a design space where the supply voltage is approximately equal to the threshold voltage of the transistors.
Abstract: Power has become the primary design constraint for chip designers today. While Moore's law continues to provide additional transistors, power budgets have begun to prohibit those devices from actually being used. To reduce energy consumption, voltage scaling techniques have proved a popular technique with subthreshold design representing the endpoint of voltage scaling. Although it is extremely energy efficient, subthreshold design has been relegated to niche markets due to its major performance penalties. This paper defines and explores near-threshold computing (NTC), a design space where the supply voltage is approximately equal to the threshold voltage of the transistors. This region retains much of the energy savings of subthreshold operation with more favorable performance and variability characteristics. This makes it applicable to a broad range of power-constrained computing segments from sensors to high performance servers. This paper explores the barriers to the widespread adoption of NTC and describes current work aimed at overcoming these obstacles.
TL;DR: This paper presents a design (RazorII) which implements a flip-flop with in situ detection and architectural correction of variation-induced delay errors and demonstrates SER tolerance on the RazorII processor through radiation experiments.
Abstract: Traditional adaptive methods that compensate for PVT variations need safety margins and cannot respond to rapid environmental changes. In this paper, we present a design (RazorII) which implements a flip-flop with in situ detection and architectural correction of variation-induced delay errors. Error detection is based on flagging spurious transitions in the state-holding latch node. The RazorII flip-flop naturally detects logic and register SER. We implement a 64-bit processor in 0.13 mum technology which uses RazorII for SER tolerance and dynamic supply adaptation. RazorII based DVS allows elimination of safety margins and operation at the point of first failure of the processor. We tested and measured 32 different dies and obtained 33% energy savings over traditional DVS using RazorII for supply voltage control. We demonstrate SER tolerance on the RazorII processor through radiation experiments.
10 Nov 2002
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors show how the simultaneous use of adaptive body biasing (ABB) and dynamic voltage scaling (DVS) can be used to reduce power in high-performance processors.
Abstract: Dynamic voltage scaling (DVS) reduces the power consumption of processors when peak performance is unnecessary. However, the achievable power savings by DVS alone is becoming limited as leakage power increases. In this paper, we show how the simultaneous use of adaptive body biasing (ABB) and DVS can be used to reduce power in high-performance processors. Analytical models of the leakage current, dynamic power, and frequency as functions of supply voltage and body bias are derived and verified with SPICE simulation. We then show how to determine the correct trade-off between supply voltage and body bias for a given clock frequency and duration of operation. The usefulness of our approach is evaluated on real workloads obtained using real-time monitoring of processor utilization for four applications. The results demonstrate that application of simultaneous DVS and ABB results in an average energy reduction of 48% over DVS alone.
TL;DR: Tunnels based on ultrathin semiconducting films or nanowires could achieve a 100-fold power reduction over complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor transistors, so integrating tunnel FETs with CMOS technology could improve low-power integrated circuits.
Abstract: Power dissipation is a fundamental problem for nanoelectronic circuits. Scaling the supply voltage reduces the energy needed for switching, but the field-effect transistors (FETs) in today's integrated circuits require at least 60 mV of gate voltage to increase the current by one order of magnitude at room temperature. Tunnel FETs avoid this limit by using quantum-mechanical band-to-band tunnelling, rather than thermal injection, to inject charge carriers into the device channel. Tunnel FETs based on ultrathin semiconducting films or nanowires could achieve a 100-fold power reduction over complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) transistors, so integrating tunnel FETs with CMOS technology could improve low-power integrated circuits.
29 Apr 2003
TL;DR: Channel engineering techniques including retrograde well and halo doping are explained as means to manage short-channel effects for continuous scaling of CMOS devices and different circuit techniques to reduce the leakage power consumption are explored.
Abstract: High leakage current in deep-submicrometer regimes is becoming a significant contributor to power dissipation of CMOS circuits as threshold voltage, channel length, and gate oxide thickness are reduced. Consequently, the identification and modeling of different leakage components is very important for estimation and reduction of leakage power, especially for low-power applications. This paper reviews various transistor intrinsic leakage mechanisms, including weak inversion, drain-induced barrier lowering, gate-induced drain leakage, and gate oxide tunneling. Channel engineering techniques including retrograde well and halo doping are explained as means to manage short-channel effects for continuous scaling of CMOS devices. Finally, the paper explores different circuit techniques to reduce the leakage power consumption.
01 Jan 1978
TL;DR: This ebook is the first authorized digital version of Kernighan and Ritchie's 1988 classic, The C Programming Language (2nd Ed.), and is a "must-have" reference for every serious programmer's digital library.
Abstract: This ebook is the first authorized digital version of Kernighan and Ritchie's 1988 classic, The C Programming Language (2nd Ed.). One of the best-selling programming books published in the last fifty years, "K&R" has been called everything from the "bible" to "a landmark in computer science" and it has influenced generations of programmers. Available now for all leading ebook platforms, this concise and beautifully written text is a "must-have" reference for every serious programmers digital library. As modestly described by the authors in the Preface to the First Edition, this "is not an introductory programming manual; it assumes some familiarity with basic programming concepts like variables, assignment statements, loops, and functions. Nonetheless, a novice programmer should be able to read along and pick up the language, although access to a more knowledgeable colleague will help."
TL;DR: This article discusses effects of variability in transistor performance and proposes microarchitecture, circuit, and testing research that focuses on designing with many unreliable components (transistors) to yield reliable system designs.
Abstract: As technology scales, variability in transistor performance continues to increase, making transistors less and less reliable. This creates several challenges in building reliable systems, from the unpredictability of delay to increasing leakage current. Finding solutions to these challenges require a concerted effort on the part of all the players in a system design. This article discusses these effects and proposes microarchitecture, circuit, and testing research that focuses on designing with many unreliable components (transistors) to yield reliable system designs.