IEEE approves low-power format

The IEEE has approved a standard based on version 2.0 of the Unified Power Format put forward by Accellera.

The IEEE 1801 “Standard for Design and Verification of Low Power Integrated Circuits” is supported by electronic design automation (EDA) tool vendors such as Magma Design Automation, Mentor Graphics and Synopsys. Cadence Design Systems favours the Common Power Format (CPF), which is currently administered by the Silicon Integration Initiative (SI2). The IEEE 1801 provides portability for low-power design specifications that can be used throughout an electronic system design, analysis, verification and implementation flow.
 
“The approval of the IEEE 1801 Standard for Design and Verification of Low Power Integrated Circuits, which was based on Accellera's Unified Power Format, is a significant milestone for our technical team and members,” said Shrenik Mehta, chairman of Accellera. “Industry acceptance of the IEEE 1801 standard power format can help optimise the energy consumption of future electronic systems by enabling engineers and tools to characterise and improve semiconductor power usage much earlier in the design cycle.”
 
“The working group approval of IEEE P1801 expands the capabilities of UPF while providing interoperability and portability to low power design flows and data,” added Stephen Bailey, chair of the P1801 working group. “This version enhances portability by addressing bugs and ambiguities in the UPF 1.0 specification and also delivers new functionality requested by the community of low-power designers.”
 
Enhancements to UPF in the new standard include: support for bias supplies to control leakage that cover N-well, P-well, deep-N-Well and deep-P-Well structures; greater flexibility in the specification of power states; and enhanced semantic capabilities for merged power domains.
 
“In order to make sure that companies' ongoing investments in UPF will be preserved, the standard also includes a high level of backward compatibility,” said Gary Delp, working group vice-chair. “The use of UPF throughout industry has increased dramatically over the last year, and we wanted to make sure that everyone could take advantage of the latest enhancements without experiencing undue expense.”

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