Functional Verification of Low Power Designs at RTL
Power is the number one constraint impacting today’s electronic designs. The need to minimize dynamic and static power consumption creates unique verification challenges. A common low power design technique involves switching off certain portions of the design (power islands) when that functionality is not required to reduce leakage power and restoring power when that functionality is needed again. This creates the need to save and restore state information with retention flops and latches, and to ensure the power island returns to a known good state when powered up. Verification of correct design functionality of power islands within the context of a power management scheme has traditionally been performed at the gate level, if at all. Defect rectification at this level is costly in terms of resource and design cycle. This paper discusses the application of innovative techniques to enable power-aware verification at the RTL with traditional RTL design styles and reusable blocks.
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