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关键词:电源管理 IP模块 嵌入式控制软件 集成设计工具

时间:2015-05-14 15:14:02      来源:中电网


Sonics Introduces Semiconductor IP Industry is First Power Management Solution Combining Fine-Grain Partitioning And Autonomous Control

Sonics, Inc., the world's foremost supplier of on-chip network (NoC) technologies and services, today introduced the ICE-Grain (Instant Control of Energy) Power Architecture for system-on-chip (SoC) design teams that require an automated power management solution with "worry-free implementation" at the highest level of abstraction. Sonics' ICE-Grain Power Architecture is the semiconductor IP industry's first and only complete power management sub-system comprised of configurable hardware IP blocks, embedded control software, and integrated design tool environment.
With the ICE-Grain Power Architecture, SoC designers partition their chips into much finer "grains," which enables up to 10x faster and more precise power control. Power "grains" are very small sections of an SoC that include functional logic that can be individually power controlled using one or more savings methods. A grain is connected to one or more clock domains and attached to at least one power domain, and includes defined signals and conditions for power control. Grains are often an order of magnitude smaller than conventionally independent power or clocking domains, and multiple grains can be composed into larger hierarchical grains. The ICE-Grain Power Architecture automates the tasks of grain connection and management by synthesizing both central and local control circuitry blocks for the greatest total SoC power reduction.

Sonics is targeting the ICE-Grain Power Architecture to mainstream SoC design teams creating energy-sensitive applications in consumer, IoT, mobile, wearables, automotive, and set-top box markets. These teams typically lack the engineering resources or time necessary to develop sophisticated, highly responsive, fine-grain power management schemes. Their resulting chips often consume more energy than necessary and sometimes significantly more than the design specification allows.

For mainstream SoC design teams, the ICE-Grain Power Architecture is an automated solution providing the most advanced capabilities and benefits of sophisticated power management schemes to address critical trends such as:

The number of clocking, power and voltage domains that require independent control is increasing;
The number of power events that need to be processed is increasing dramatically. These events must be managed at run-time to satisfy power constraints;
Power and energy budgets are tightening and becoming more challenging, including thermal, battery, and regulatory limits.
"Sonics is keenly aware of the power problem in today's designs from our long history integrating battery-powered SoCs with on-chip networks and from our recent power research and patent work," said Drew Wingard, CTO of Sonics. "Our goal with the ICE-Grain Power Architecture is to give system architects the IP, drivers, and automation tools they need to address power reduction early in the SoC design process where it proves most effective. To save power, designers must power-down parts of the SoC as quickly as possible to eliminate leakage current, and then power the parts back up just in time. Our fine-grain approach controls power in hardware for much faster switching between states. This approach also implements dynamic voltage and frequency scaling to take advantage of the high dependence of active power on voltage."

Saves More Power Than Conventional Power Management Approaches

Compared to conventional, software-controlled approaches, Sonics' fine-grain technique provides many more opportunities to turn parts of the chip to low-power states. Its hardware-controlled state transitions enable the architecture to optimize the power state to match the operating conditions of the controlled grain. This allows SoC designers to exploit many more "dark silicon" states than they can typically achieve using software-controlled approaches.

Key ICE-Grain Power Architecture features and benefits are:

1) The first commercial technology to manage and control all common power techniques in a unified environment.

Hardware identification of power saving opportunities
Unique "wake on demand" technique allows automated grain shut down and instantaneous wake up when needed
Hardware control of clock, isolation, retention, and power gating sequences
Hardware control of operating points for DVFS (dynamic voltage and frequency scaling) and AVS (adaptive voltage scaling)
Leverages existing software-controlled power management techniques
2) Scalable, distributed, and modular architecture.

Centralized grain controller block manages individual and inter-grain power sequencing and operating point assignment
Distributed, local controller blocks per grain handle power sequence execution and minimize the logic in the always on domain
Hardware event control system supports hundreds of grains with predictable, low latency and virtually no impact on processor performance
3) Easy, worry-free implementation of hardware control and fine-grain power reduction.

Scales to support hundreds of power grains that are correct-by-construction and include on-chip debug and monitoring
Minimal area and power impact to the original design
4) EDA tool support complies with industry-standard tools, flows, and formats.

5) Complete, integrated solution; no special power expertise required.

With the ICE-Grain Power Architecture, designers work at the highest level of abstraction, which means they do not have to be power management experts to adopt and use the solution.
Leverages existing power management techniques where designers can integrate some or all of their existing software-based approach
"We have followed Sonics for many years and can confirm that the company has been exposed to power issues in more than 250 chip designs," said Rich Wawryzniak, Senior Market Analyst: ASIC & SoC, Semico Research Corp. "They have applied that body of knowledge and years of power reduction development work in their on-chip network products and are now focused on solving the power problem for the broader SoC market place. There is a large market opportunity for an IP supplier that delivers a commercial solution on par with the most advanced power schemes developed by the "army of experts" at large system companies like Apple. We believe there is strong pent-up demand for an automated power management solution with chip design teams building mainstream products in more modest volumes than Apple. Sonics is well-positioned to take advantage of this opportunity."


Sonics is currently engaging with a limited number of early access technology partners who are interested in using the ICE-Grain Power Architecture for SoC design projects in 2015. Partners can implement the ICE-Grain Power Architecture independently of Sonics' on-chip networks; however, there are strong synergies when they are used together. Sonics plans product announcements related to the ICE-Grain Power Architecture in late 2015.



Sonics, Inc是世界上最重要的片上网络(NOC)技术和服务供应商,今天宣布推出ICE-谷物(能源的即时控制),Power架构的系统级芯片需要一个自动化(SoC)的设计团队在抽象的最高水平“无忧推行”电源管理解决方案。 Sonics的ICE-粮食Power架构是半导体行业知识产权第一款也是唯一完整的电源管理子系统包括配置的硬件IP模块,嵌入式控制软件,和集成设计工具的环境。



“超音速是敏锐地意识到我们的历史悠久集成电池供电的系统级芯片,带有片上网络,并从我们最近的研究力量和专利工作在今天的设计中体现能力问题,”德鲁Wingard,超音速队的CTO说。 “我们与ICE-粮食Power架构的目标是给系统架构师的IP,驱动程序和自动化工具,他们需要在SoC设计过程中它被证明是非常有效的早期解决功耗降低。为了降低功耗,设计者必须掉电部分的SoC尽快消除泄漏电流,然后正好赶上供电部分回升。我们的细粒度控制方法在电源硬件状态之间更快的切换,这种方法还实现了动态电压和频率调整到坐高电压有功功率的依赖的优势。“









“我们已经跟随超音速队多年,可以确认,该公司已经暴露在权力问题,超过250芯片设计,”富Wawryzniak,高级市场分析师说:ASIC SoC的和,Semico Research公司:“他们已经应用该机构知识和多年的在他们的片上网络产品功耗降低开发工作,目前正在重点解决对大盘的SoC市场的电源问题。没有为它提供商业解决方案看齐的IP供应商一个巨大的市场机遇通过在大型系统的公司,如苹果公司的“专家大军”开发的最先进的电源方案。我们相信,与芯片设计团队打造主流产品在较为温和的体积比苹果的自动的电源管理解决方案,强大的被压抑的需求。超音速被很好地利用这个机会。“