Minimizing Leakage: What if Every Gate Could Have Its Individual Threshold Voltage?

R. Salomon, F. Sill, and D. Timmermann (Germany)


Genetic Algorithms, Real-World Application, Low-Power VLSI, Optimization


Designers aim at fast but low-power consuming integrated circuits. Since high processing speed always comes with high energy demands, the literature provides several ways to reduce a circuit’s power dissipation. Even though tech nologically not possible today, this paper hypothesizes that the design would allow for choosing a gate’s from a con tinuous domain in order to explore options for future im provements. That is, the design goal consists in selecting a gate’s delay such that both the circuit’s delay and its power consumption assumes minimal values. Since the resulting optimization problem is multi-dimensional and might also contain local optima, this paper utilizes genetic algorithms for this task. On a selection of the well-known ISCACS test suite, the genetic algorithms reduced the circuits’ leakage values by about 20-50%; with respect to non-optimized circuits, the improvement is about 60-80%.

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