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New power optimization tool includes leakage power estimation

Posted: 06 Jun 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:chipvision design systems? electronic system-level power optimization? esl? esl power optimization? orinoco?

Claiming an industry first, ChipVision Design Systems has introduced an electronic system-level (ESL) power optimization solution with leakage power estimation capabilities.

Whereas previous versions of ChipVision's Orinoco power optimization tool have focused on dynamic power, Orinoco 2005.1 adds power estimation for leakage, which ChipVision says has emerged as equally important at the 130 nanometer node and below.

Orinoco 2005.1 enables designers to take an algorithm in C or SystemC and optimize its implementation for low power. The tool provides an output in the form of an Orinoco micro-architecture indicating how many resources are needed for the implementation of a particular block prior to register-transfer level (RTL) coding.

"What we are doing is taking an algorithm, inputting it into the tool and allowing the user to make tradeoff decisions with respect to which implementation optimizations will be the best for low power," said Stan Krolikoski, ChipVision CEO.

In addition to providing leakage power estimation capabilities, the latest Orinoco release features improved accuracy for both dynamic and leakage estimates of within 25 percent of gate-level estimates.

Orinoco 2005.1 also includes a limited number of automated features, including an automated characterization flow that enables the creation of libraries for pre-RTL power estimation. But the primary benefit of the tool is the capability that it provides designers, rather than its automation.

"This is not a push button, 'forget it' solution," said Frank Schirrmeister, vice president of business development for ChipVision. "Orinoco 2005.1 provides the tools for the designer to make optimizations."

Krolikoski said design chain reaction and the ability to provide optimization at the earliest point in the design flow were the key advantage of Orinoco 2005.1.

"We have learned through early adopters that most important thing is interaction with the rest of the flow," Schirrmeister said. "All data needs to be made available to the rest of the flow, and it needs to be made available to the RTL designers."

The 2005.1 release of ORINOCO is shipping now. Pricing for time-based licenses starts at $40,000 per year.

- Dylan McGrath

EE Times



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