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IEEE to vote on low-power design standard

Posted: 04 Nov 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:low power design  Unified Power Format  IEEE standardisation 

The IEEE has announced that development within the working group dedicated to IEEE P1801, "Standard for Design and Verification of Low Power Integrated Circuits," has been completed, and the standard has gone to sponsor ballot. The standard is also known as Unified Power Format (UPF) 2.0. UPF, first developed by Accellera, is currently supported by multiple vendors and is in use worldwide. This is the first time that UPF has undergone an IEEE standardisation effort.

Developed by the P1801 Low Power Working Group, the standard provides portability of low-power design specifications that can be used with a variety of commercial products throughout an electronic system design, analysis, verification and implementation flow. "The working group approval of IEEE P1801 expands the capabilities of UPF while providing interoperability and portability to low power design flows and data," said 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."

The enhancements include support for bias supplies (N-well, P-well, Deep-N-Well and Deep-P-Well); greater flexibility and capabilities in specification of power states; and enhanced semantic capabilities for merged power domains. "The standard also includes a high level of backward compatibility," said Gary Delp, Working Group Vice-Chair. "Use of UPF has really exploded over the last six months, and we want to make sure that companies' ongoing investments in UPF will be preserved."

The sponsor ballot for IEEE P1801 was opened on 28 October and is expected to close on 27 November. Sponsor ballot begins when the technical sponsor of the standard decides that the draft of the proposed standard is stable. The sponsor forms a ballot group consisting of entities with a material interest in the content of the draft. The goal of the sponsor ballot process is to gain the required approval level among those balloting the standard. Once the document reaches the required level of consensus, it can be submitted to the IEEE-SA Standards Board for final approval as an IEEE standard.

-Gabe Morretti
EDA DesignLine

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