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Research Review, December 10, 2013

The Low Power GPU Collaboration

ARM is working with Geomerics in the Low Power Graphical Processing Unit (LPGPU) collaboration.  They’re working with two other companies and two universities from across the EU.  LPGPU has this to say about themselves:

“”Low-power GPU (LPGPU)” is a EU-funded research project into low powered graphics devices. It is the work of a specially formed consortium of four companies and two universities, all from across the EU, who are collaborating to deliver advances in applications, tools and hardware.”

Sam Martin of Geomerics recently gave a talk at the Mosaic3DX conference hosted by Cambridge.  He spoke about deferred lighting and the LPGPU’s efforts to achieve PC console quality graphics on mobile devices.  There’s a very interesting as well as pretty slide set complete with a transcript from a similar talk he gave earlier this year here[pdf].

Low Power Design Symposium 2014

The 2014 International Symposium on Low Power Electronics and Design will take place August 11 – 14 in La Jolla, CA.  The symposium, which is making it’s return to the States this year, should be an excellent venue for presenting your latest low-power innovations.  They’re accepting submissions[pdf] in two areas, ‘Technology, Circuits, and Architecture’, and ‘CAD, Systems, and Software’, with three subarea-s in each area

Last year’s symposium was in the slightly more exotic, but far more difficult to requisition travel to, Beijing, China.  Here are a few samples of the research that was presented.

Algorithm Checkpointing for Devices Powered by Energy Harvesting
Mirhoseini, Songhori, and Kouushanfar of Rice University presented an automated framework for partitioning algorithms that are targeted for devices powered by energy harvesting, (‘Automated checkpointing for enabling intensive applications on energy harvesting devices‘).  Their framework is used in the high level synthesis portion of designs to help compartmentalize a hardware implemented algorithm into steps that can be optimally completed in the windows when power is available.  The optimization takes into account how much information will have to be stored at the end of each step as well as how long and how much power each step will take.

Early Detection of Power Gating Current Hot Spots
Sengupta, Ergin, and Veneris of the University of Toronto and Advanced Micro Devices presented a methodology and associated CAD tool for finding sleep transistors that violate current draw design rules early in the design cycle, (“Early Detection of Current Hot Spots in Power Gated Designs“).  Their experimental results showed that their new algorithm identifies 90% of all current hot spot areas at a 20x runtime savings vs. commercial CAD tools.

Smaller More Efficient MRAMs
Sharad, Venkatesan, Raghunathan, and Roy of Purdue presented a new MRAM bit cell that enhanced both the density and power efficiency characteristics of spin torque transfer MRAMs, (“Multi-Level Magnetic RAM Using Domain Wall Shift for Energy-Efficient, High-Density Caches“).  The technology utilizes nano-strips of magnetic material whose magnetic domain walls can shift dynamically with an applied current.  For a primer on MRAM technology in general, see MRAM Meets the Power Basics.

One Response to “Research Review, December 10, 2013”

  1. Low Power News, December 20, 2013 | Low-Power Engineering Says:

    [...] You may have noticed the mention of the partnership between ARM and Geomerics in this months Research Review.  ARM took the partnership to the next level by announcing their acquisition of Geomerics last [...]

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