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Graceful Performance Modulation for Power-Neutral Transient Computing Systems

Balsamo, Domenico, Das, Anup, Weddell, Alex, Brunelli, Davide, Al-Hashimi, Bashir M., Merrett, Geoff V. and Benini, Luca (2016) Graceful Performance Modulation for Power-Neutral Transient Computing Systems IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems

Record type: Article


Transient computing systems do not have energy storage, and operate directly from energy harvesting. These systems are often faced with the inherent challenge of low-current or transient power supply. In this paper, we propose “power-neutral” operation, a new paradigm for such systems, whereby the instantaneous power consumption of the system must match the instantaneous harvested power. Power neutrality is achieved using a control algorithm for dynamic frequency scaling (DFS), modulating system performance gracefully in response to the incoming power. Detailed system model is used to determine design parameters for selecting the system voltage thresholds where the operating frequency will be raised or lowered, or the system will be hibernated. The proposed control algorithm for power-neutral operation is experimentally validated using a microcontroller incorporating voltage threshold-based interrupts for frequency scaling. The microcontroller is powered directly from real energy harvesters; results demonstrate that a power-neutral system sustains operation for 4–88% longer with up to 21% speedup in application execution.

Text tcad15dfs.pdf - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 15 January 2016
Organisations: Electronic & Software Systems, EEE


Local EPrints ID: 386635
PURE UUID: e863146c-d85e-4493-97a3-024d36acfc7d
ORCID for Alex Weddell: ORCID iD
ORCID for Geoff V. Merrett: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 29 Jan 2016 12:06
Last modified: 03 Oct 2017 16:39

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Author: Domenico Balsamo
Author: Anup Das
Author: Alex Weddell ORCID iD
Author: Davide Brunelli
Author: Geoff V. Merrett ORCID iD
Author: Luca Benini

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