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Europe vendors team to push greener electronics

Posted: 17 Jun 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:green electronics? Europe IC research? energy efficiency? EDA?

Partner firms have disclosed details on a new publicly-funded research project program: "ENDModels, Solutions, Methods and Tools for Energy-Aware Design." The three-year ENIAC (European Nanoelectronics Initiative Advisory Council) project is designed to enhance the competitiveness of Europe's semiconductor and electronics equipment companies in developing new products and technologies that are at the forefront of energy efficiency.

Energy efficiency is one of the most critical aspects of today's information society. Reducing energy consumption of electronic devices, circuits and systems, coupled with improving energy generation, conversion, storage and management capabilities represent the biggest challenges that engineers and scientists operating in the electronics sector face in the next decade.

The END project will pursue the energy efficiency objective through an innovative holistic approach that unifies, under a common design platform, the development of modeling, simulation, design and EDA techniques for a wide range of devices and systems (digital blocks, analog/RF blocks, discrete components). The project will also address the conception and experimentation of new power supply systems, with particular emphasis on energy management aspects. This mission enables a synergic approach to energy-aware design, offering a comprehensive set of solutions covering the many different facets of the complex problem of accounting for energy effects during the design of heterogeneous circuits and systems, such as those that will be hosted by the electronic products of the future.

"The ultimate objective of the END project is to bring innovative energy-aware design solutions and EDA technologies into the product development of the industrial partners of the Consortium," said Salvatore Rinaudo, END project coordinator and industrial and multisegment sector CAD R&D director at STMicroelectronics. "We will enable the design and manufacture of electronic circuits that will be at the basis of the green information society of the future."

END brings together the expertise of user companies (IDMs, fabless), design centers, universities and institutes in a range of projects that will establish standards and contribute to building a solid energy-aware electronics design base for Europe. In particular, the project goals include the development of power models for non-bulk CMOS devices, a unified low-power design methodology for heterogeneous systems and SoC devices, energy-efficient building blocks for heterogeneous systems, energy-efficient IP components for SoCs, energy management of systems based on multiple, heterogeneous supplies, and demonstrators of solar energy and wireless sensor systems.

The project will cost approximately 12.6 million euro ($14.8 million), with funding provided by both the ENIAC JU (Joint Undertaking) and from the public authorities of Belgium, Greece, Italy and Slovakia. The ENIAC JU is a public-private partnership with the European Commission, Member States, Associated States and Europe R&D actors and levers private and national investments.

Project partners include: STMicroelectronics s.r.l., Italy (Project Coordinator); Centro Ricerche FIAT, Italy; ETH Lab; Eurotech Group, Italy; Numonyx Italy, Italy; Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per la Nanoelettronica, Italy; Politecnico di Torino, Italy; Alma Mater StudiorumUniversita di Bologna, Italy; Universita degli Studi di Catania, Italy; Universita degli Studi di Salerno, Italy; NXP Semiconductors, Germany; Intracom S.A. Telecom Solutions, Greece; inAccess Networks, Greece; University of Patras, Greece; ON Semiconductor, Belgium; ON Semiconductor, Slovakia; Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, Slovakia; Acondicionamiento Tarrasense, Spain; and Centre Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique, Switzerland.

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