With EU funding, the DARE (Cross-layer design of adaptive, reliable and energy efficient systems) project set out to propose and develop a novel paradigm to exploit the inherent error resilience of various applications that provide opportunities for delivering cost-efficient fault-tolerant schemes. Project partners developed mechanisms at various levels of design abstraction that enable systems to adapt to dynamically changing operating conditions and user requirements, while systematically capturing the interplay between energy, reliability/yield and quality. The proposed approach applied unequal error protection to various abstraction layers, giving priority to the protection of the most significant blocks/computations that carry the majority of relevant signal information. Less significant parts are allowed to partially fail, to provide erroneous results or to be skipped/approximated as long as an acceptable quality of service was maintained. The DARE team improved and successfully applied the methodology to many more essential wireless communication algorithms, and health monitoring, multimedia and data mining applications. Findings show that in such applications, a paradigm shift towards a less than 100 % accurate computation and storage is possible with substantial improvements in energy efficiency. Results also validate the potential of the proposed approach for a paradigm shift in the design of future electronic products in various embedded and high performance system domains. DARE's developed methods will keep power consumption low, thus increasing battery life while helping to limit the manufacturing and product cost levels by not having to discard effective chips. Ultimately, it should guarantee cheaper, more energy-efficient and reliable systems for Europeans.
Transistor, computing paradigm, DARE, energy efficient systems