IP power-island “construction kit” optimises SoC low-power management

July 06, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
A safe and flexible solution to build the most efficient power islands is essential but challenging for all SoC designs, to enable optimised low-power management, according to IP provider Dolphin Integration.

To guarantee the safe construction of power islands for the lowest power consumption, Dolphin Integration has introduced a power-island construction kit called CLICK, which includes a variety of low-power cells needed to implement a number of power management techniques, such as:

- Power gating techniques for all kinds of islands enables some power islands in a SoC to be independently switched-off, when unused, in order to minimise power leakage during sleep mode. When using retention mode, power gating enables powering down without losing state and resuming operation with fast wake-up.

- Multi-voltage techniques are used to split a design into multiple voltage islands supplied at different voltage levels to save dynamic power consumption.

Augmented with the patented Transition Ramp Cell (TRC), inserted into the power ring of the island, SESAME CLICK is not only a solution guaranteeing safe power island construction, but also a low power and cost effective solution with flexible and safe control of the power-up sequence. Other benefits include;

- Flexibility of in-rush current management

- Limitation of in-rush current controlled by the TRC enables an implementation “correct-by-construction”

- Easy adjustment of in-rush current and/or minimisation of wake up time at implementation and runtime programmable through registers

- Ease of integration

- Methodology for an automatic computation of the optimal number and size of power switches required for creating the island power ring

- Script for automatic and optimised power ring insertion

- Compatible with SCAN test ensuring no fabrication error

- Add-on to the SESAME uHD 6 track standard cell library, contributing to a less leaky and denser logic island domain thanks to the “retention spinner cell”.

- Three times denser than standard 7T retention flip-flop

- Up to two times less leaky than any competitor

A video is here.

Dolphin Integration; www.dolphin.fr