Universal Principles for Ultra Low Power and Energy Efficient Design

R. Sarpeshkar
2012 IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems - II - Express Briefs  
Information is represented by the states of physical devices. It costs energy to transform or maintain the states of these physical devices. Thus, energy and information are deeply linked. This deep link allows the articulation of ten information-based principles for ultra low power design that apply to biology or electronics, to analog or digital systems, and to electrical or nonelectrical systems, at small or large scales. In this tutorial brief, we review these key principles along with
more » ... les of how they have been applied in practical electronic systems. Index Terms-Design principles, energy efficient, information, low power. I. INTRODUCTION I NFORMATION is always represented by the states of variables in a physical system, whether that system is a sensing, actuating, communicating, controlling, or computing system or a combination of all types. It costs energy to change or maintain the states of physical variables. These states can be in the voltage of a piezoelectric sensor, in the mechanical displacement of a robot arm, in the current of an antenna, in the chemical concentration of a regulating enzyme in a cell, or in the voltage on a capacitor in a digital processor. Hence, it costs energy to process information, whether that energy is used by enzymes in biology to copy a strand of deoxyribonucleic acid or in electronics to filter an input. 1 To save energy, one must then reduce the amount of information that one wants to process. The higher the output precision and the higher the temporal bandwidth or speed at which the information needs to be processed, the higher is the rate of energy consumption, i.e., power. To save power, one must then reduce the rate of information processing. The information may be represented by analog state variables, digital state variables, or both. The information processing can use analog processing, digital processing, or both. The art of low-power design consists of decomposing the task to be solved in an intelligent fashion such that the rate of Manuscript
doi:10.1109/tcsii.2012.2188451 fatcat:k4vkyx7xdnflxgfwu344a3x35e