Down & dirty with HW/SW co-design: Part 4 – Multi-objective optimization

Embedded system designs must meet several different design criteria. The traditional operations research approach of defining a single objective function and perhaps some minor objective functions, along with design constraints, may not adequately describe the system requirements. Economist Vilfredo Pareto  developed a theory for multi-objective analysis known as Pareto optimality. An important concept provided by this theory is the …

Li Mei’s list of debugging secrets

(Editor’s Note: Li Mei is a character in a non-fiction book by Lisa Simone about the adventures of a fictional team of software developers working on various project and the lessons they learned. In the book, Li Mei develops a List of Debugging Secrets while debugging her own mysteries, participating as a sounding board for her teammates as they …

Reduce SoC device/package leakage/power with improved power management protocols

To reduce the design and packaging cost, SoCs are usually developed satisfying a superset of demands of multiple customers. To target the customers who do not need the complete functionality the usual solution is to offer them only a subset of that functionality through the judicious use of packaging and pin out options. This, however, leads to inclusion of logic …

Using drowsy cores to lower power in multicore SoCs

Multicore processing has enabled higher and higher levels of processing capability, but with a price: higher levels of power consumption. Cascading power management is a technique that steers tasks to a smaller number of cores during non-peak activity periods so that the idle cores can enter a minimal-power or “drowsy” state. When packet traffic increases again, the technique allows …