Partitioned-Bus and Variable-Width-Bus Scheme for Low Power Digital Processors

Makoto IKEDA  Kunihiro ASADA  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E79-C   No.3   pp.424-429
Publication Date: 1996/03/25
Online ISSN: 
DOI: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Electronic Circuits
Keyword: 
low power,  partitioned-bus architecture,  variable-width-bus scheme,  microprocessor,  

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Summary: 
We propose a partitioned-bus architecture with a variable-width-bus scheme to reduce power consumption in bus lines in VLSIs. The partitioned-bus architecture (horizontal partitioning) restricts bus driving range to minimal, while the variable-width-bus scheme (vertical partitioning) uses additional tag lines so as to automatically indicate effective bus width with-out driving unnecessary bus lines depending on data to be transferred. Applying this method to a general purpose microprocessor, we demonstrate 30% and 35% power consumption reduction in bus lines, respectively for the partitioned-bus architecture and the variable-width-bus scheme, compared with the conventional bus architecture. Combining the both together, we show about 55% power consumption reduction in bus lines for typical applications. Increase in chip area for this architecture is about 30% compared with the conventional bus architecture.