2017 Volume E100.A Issue 12 Pages 2776-2784
Scaling the supply voltage (Vdd) and threshold voltage (Vth) for minimizing the energy consumption of processors dynamically is highly desired for applications such as wireless sensor network and Internet of Things (IoT). In this paper, we refer to the pair of Vdd and Vth, which minimizes the energy consumption of the processor under a given operating condition, as a minimum energy point (MEP in short). Since the MEP is heavily dependent on an operating condition determined by a chip temperature, an activity factor, a process variation, and a performance required for the processor, it is not very easy to closely track the MEP at runtime. This paper proposes a simple but effective algorithm for dynamically tracking the MEP of a processor under a wide range of operating conditions. Gate-level simulation of a 32-bit RISC processor in a 65nm process demonstrates that the proposed algorithm tracks the MEP under a situation that operating condition widely vary.