Design Methodologies and Techniques for Optimizing Power Consumption and Performance in Pipeline Circuits
A Mathematical Solution to Power Optimal Pipeline Design by Utilizing Soft Edge Flip Flops — In an ISLPED-08 paper, we presented a technique to address the problem of reducing the power consumption in a synchronous linear pipeline, based on the idea of utilizing soft-edge flip-flops (SEFF) for time borrowing and voltage scaling in the pipeline stages. We described a unified methodology for optimally selecting the supply voltage level of a linear pipeline and optimizing the transparency window of the SEFF so as to achieve the minimum power consumption subject to a total computation time constraint. We formulated the problem as a quadratic program that can be solved optimally in polynomial time. Our experimental results demonstrated that this technique is quite effective in reducing the power consumption of a pipeline circuit under a performance constraint. Next, we will improve the pipeline stages by using optimally designed flip-flops. Also, we will consider the effect of higher order constraints such as the interdependency between the setup and hold time, and then generalize the problem to the non-linear pipelines with multi-stage feed forward and feedback paths.