New initiative targets low-power design spec

May 22, 2006 – Nine semiconductor industry companies spanning design, equipment, and chip manufacturing have formed the Power Forward Initiative, a group aiming to design and produce more power-efficient electronic devices.

The initiative aims to link design, verification, and implementation to reduce risk and increase predictability in chip power reduction, the group said in a statement. A new automated design infrastructure will be developed, “capturing the designer’s intent for power management,” and by 2007 the group hopes to have ready a specification linking design, implementation, and verification as an industry open standardization process.

The “Common Power Format” spec, which captures all design- and technology-related power constraints in a single file and applies it across the design flow, will be made available first to members of the initiative, which includes Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Applied Materials Inc., ARM, ATI Technologies Inc., Cadence Design Systems Inc., Freescale Semiconductor, Fujitsu Ltd., NEC Electronics Corp., and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).

“By uniting industry leaders, the Power Forward Initiative will steer the industry toward a broader, more systematic, and much more integrated approach to low-power design, providing a platform to enable higher-level exploration while leveraging the good building-block work we’ve all already done,” stated Mike Fister, president and CEO of Cadence.


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