ST-Ericsson, TIMA - Techniques de l'Informatique et de la Microélectronique pour l'Architecture d'ordinateurs, LIRMM - Laboratoire d'Informatique, de Robotique et de Microélectronique de Montpellier
The HiCool project aims to improve the system-on-chip design process for applications requiring minimal power dissipation. It will focus on the early steps of the process, when engineers typically decide which power reduction methods to use. The enhanced process should boost circuits' energy efficiency and make circuit design teams more productive--meaning a faster time-to-market for their low-power devices. The project findings will be transferred to industry through new circuit design methods and software.
The main innovation will be to break down walls between the various stages in the system-on-chip design process. Project researchers will develop methods to improve collaboration between architecture engineers--who determine how to best put circuit components together for a given application--and the engineers who use register-transfer level (RTL) descriptions and logic gates to build the circuits. The methods will slash by a factor of ten the time spent on reducing a circuit's power requirement during the initial circuit design steps. And that will give low-power system-on-chip makers a major competitive advantage.