A New Method for Constructing IP Level Power Model Based on Power Sensitivity

Heng-Liang HUANG  Jiing-Yuan LIN  Wen-Zen SHEN  Jing-Yang JOU  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences   Vol.E83-A   No.12   pp.2431-2438
Publication Date: 2000/12/25
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8508
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on VLSI Design and CAD Algorithms)
Category: VLSI Design Methodology
IP,  power model,  power sensitivity,  

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As the function of a system getting more complex, IP (Intellectual Property) reusing is the trend of system design style. Designers need to evaluate the performance and features of every candidate IP block that can be used in their design, while IP providers hope to keep the structure of their IP blocks a secret. An IP level power model is a model that takes only the primary input statistics as parameters and does not reveal any information about the sizes of the transistors or the structure of the circuit. This paper proposes a new method for constructing power model that is suitable for IP level circuit blocks. It is a nominal point selection method for power models based on power sensitivities. By analyzing the relationship between the dynamic power consumption of CMOS circuits and their input signal statistics, a guideline of selecting the nominal point is proposed. From our analysis, the first nominal point is selected to minimize the average estimation error and two other nominal points are selected to minimize the maximum estimation error. Our experimental results on a number of benchmark circuits show the effectiveness of the proposed method. Average estimation accuracy within 5.78% of transistor level simulations is achieved. The proposed method can be applied to build a system level power estimation environment without revealing the contents of the IP blocks inside. Thereby, it is a promising method for IP level power model construction.