EU project aims to “clean” up power leakage

January 10, 2006 – A group of 14 chipmakers, universities, and research institutes aims to find ways to control leakage currents in CMOS designs below 65nm, cited as a “showstopper” for future generations of nanoelectronic circuits.

The main objectives of the three-year project, dubbed CLEAN “Controlling leakage power in nanoCMOS SoCs,” are to develop new leakage power models, design methodologies and techniques for leakage control, and prototype EDA tools that will automatically perform portions of the design work, such as tasks related to power minimization and implementation of dynamic leakage control policies seamlessly through the design flow.

“The project will make a significant contribution in overcoming the technology shortcomings for 65nm and below, and in particular, process variability and unreliability, as well as leakage currents,” noted Roberto Zafalon, project coordinator, and R&D program manager in STMicroelectronics’ advanced system technology division. “The outcome of CLEAN will allow the decrease of power consumption of nanoelectronic devices and, at the same time, increase design productivity and thus make the raised SoC’s complexity manageable.”

Other aims of the project, which is supported by 4.5 million euros (~US $5.5 million) from the European Commission, under the “Nanoelectronics” strategic objective of IST 6th Framework Program, include targeting development of Europe’s electronic design automation (EDA) industry through active participation of companies specializing in developing tools for power optimization and management. It also will help boost Europe’s strengths in end-use applications requiring low power consumption, such as system-on-chip for mobile telecommunications and infrastructure, and consumer and automotive electronics.

Spearheading the project’s efforts is STMicroelectronics, along with Infineon, ChipVision Design Systems, BullDAST, OFFIS, Politecnicio di Torino, U. Politecnica de Catalunya, CEA-LETI, Politechnika Warszawska, edacentrum, Technical U. of Denmark, Consorzio per la Ricera e l’Educazione Permanente, and the Budapest U. of Technology and Economics.


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