Power — Usage Shift Leads To Methodology Shift

May 27, 2015 // By Vijay Chobisa and Gaurav Saharawat, Mentor Graphics

Power issues are caused because of a usage shift in mobile
computing devices (phones, tablets, etc.). These devices are now being used for playing games, watching movies or NFL or NBA games in addition to typical cell phone usage. This usage shift warrants a methodology shift in the power analysis flow. Why are existing power analysis flows and methodologies falling short?
First, FINFET is a technology that helps reduce static power, but dynamic power is still the largest power consumer as chips are getting faster and the screens in today’s mobile devices are being produced with much higher resolution.
Second, adapted functional testbenches, traditionally used for power number generation, are not adequate for analyzing power problems. Finally, power analysis tools are not designed to do power measurements at the full chip/system level while running live software applications.

Why has power suddenly become a high visibility topic? One reason is that power exploration and accurate power calculation of SoCs in the target application environment is getting executive attention due to the fact that companies are missing market windows because of power issues.
Mentor graphics, Veloce