Fahim recently successfully designed and tested his latest and last test-chip -- he graduates May 2019 -- which will be presented at ISSCC'19.
Minimum energy tracking is a potentially valuable capability in ultra-low power sensor systems. However, real-world applications need to achieve ideally minimum energy operation while continuing to provide performance guarantees.
Quite often, performance-constrained minimum-energy operation means simply operating at the lowest frequency-voltage point that the application requires. However, in ultra-low power (and yes, performance) applications sometimes, these requirements can fall below the frequency corresponding to the Minimum Energy Point (MEP). At these times, it makes sense for the system whenever possible, to actually operate at a higher voltage and frequency, get more work done more efficiently, and then go to sleep for optimal energy dissipation.
This work demonstrates a system that autonomously seeks the MEP while providing performance guarantees. Moreover, in a departure from prior work, the system uses computational techniques to determine the total energy delivered by the power-source (battery) per computation, which it then seeks to minimize.