First Advisor

W. Robert Daasch

Term of Graduation

Spring 1998

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Electrical and Computer Engineering


Electrical and Computer Engineering




Integrated circuits -- Design and construction, Low voltage integrated circuits -- Design and construction, Integrated circuits -- Very large scale integration



Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 96 pages)


Power consumption has become a major concern in the electronic industry in recent years because of the increased demand for portable electronic devices. Part of the problem in power conscious design is accurate power estimation. Power estimation at low-levels of design abstraction is slow since the units of low-levels of design abstraction are transistors or gates. But designers need reliable power estimates early in the design process. Therefore designers need to have tools for fast and accurate power estimation at higher levels of design abstraction such as the Register Transfer Level (RTL).

This thesis introduces a new method for RTL power estimation of CMOS sequential circuits. This method tries to estimate the average power of a sequential circuit through the combination of a low-effort synthesis of the RTL description of the sequential circuit and the parameters readily available from the RTL description of the circuit like the sum-of-product count and literal count. The quantitative and qualitative aspects of the new model are studied with MCNC91 benchmark circuits and a large set of randomly generated circuits. Quantitative power estimation with the new model is seen to be very difficult because of the highly irregular surfaces of the functions that are being modeled in an effort to understand how a synthesis tool changes the power of a circuit during optimization. A qualitative measure is then proposed for the performance of a synthesis tool in preserving the qualitative ordering of power values of different implementations of a sequential circuit. An inference about such a performance of the synthesis tool would help the designer make informed decisions about the choice of implementation of a sequential circuit from a set of broad alternatives.


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