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Fast Response Circuits for Voltage Droop Compensation

Project description

Circuitry design enables adaptive response to fast voltage droops

Voltage droops are unpredicted drops in the supply voltage of computer chips, which often occur as a result of nearby bursts of high intensity circuit activity. The EU-funded FastVolt project is concerned with fast voltage droops, where voltage drops within a few clock cycles. Researchers plan to develop a simple, compact circuit that compensates for voltage droops without incurring synchroniser delay. This should yield a practical method for adaptive response to fast droops that promises to increase computational efficiency. Conservative estimates suggest a performance increase of at least 5 %. The project partners will take all necessary action to successfully bring the new solution to market.

Objective

"Voltage droops are unpredicted drops in the supply voltage of computer chips, which often occur as a result of nearby bursts of high intensity circuit activity. This proposal is concerned with fast voltage droops, where voltage drops within a few clock cycles. This means that any dynamic response must take place within one or at most two clock cycles. A promising direction for combining the advantages of a stable reference clock with a small response time are mixed-signal control loops, in which voltage measurements are digitized and control decisions are taken by digital logic. However, digitally measuring a dynamically changing voltage may cause metastability of the sampling circuit. Conventional approaches employ synchronizers to make the probability of metastable upsets negligible, which costs 2-3 clock cycles of additional delay.

Based on results of the ERC starting grant project ""A Theory of Reliable Hardware,'' we provide a simple, compact circuit that guarantees the desired behavior without incurring synchronizer delay. This yields a practical method for adaptive response to fast droops, which bears the promise of increasing computational efficiency. Conservative estimates suggest performance improvements of at least 5%, which would be of substantial economical interest.

The main obstacle to commercialization is a gap between theory and practice: Without an existing implementation, it takes a long time to develop a product and the associated risks are high. In this project, we will overcome this hurdle by developing, producing, and evaluating an Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) demonstrator for our approach. We complement this primary goal by tasks aiming at maximizing impact: publication of results in high-profile scientific venues, patent protection to facilitate commercialization, and outreach to potential industry partners for developing products."

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Coordinator

CISPA - HELMHOLTZ-ZENTRUM FUR INFORMATIONSSICHERHEIT GGMBH
Net EU contribution
€ 3 855,00
Address
Stuhlsatzenhaus 5
66123 Saarbrucken
Germany

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Region
Saarland Saarland Regionalverband Saarbrücken
Activity type
Research Organisations
Links
EU contribution
No data

Beneficiaries (3)