Energy Efficiency

Software Platform enables Fast Power & Thermal Analysis

The Industrial Technology Research Institute's (ITRI) Power and Thermal-Aware Electronic System Level Platform (PT-ESL) is an architectural level modeling and simulation solution for efficiently analyzing power consumption, performance bottlenecks, and thermal hotspots of both electronic systems (e.g. board or system product) and semiconductor devices (e.g. IC, System-on-Chip, or System in Package).

PT-ESL is now available for licensing. It offers designers and manufacturers a streamlined process to find potential power and thermal issues, and to explore different architectures and configurations for an optimal design solution.

ITRI PT-ESL provides toolkits and methodology for system designers to simulate how a real device operates and reveal system power consumption and thermal behavior based on the device's real applications or usage scenarios. It takes only minutes to hours to accomplish a scenario-based full system analysis, while traditional approaches require weeks to months to do so.

This technology enables a 25% shorter time to market and 30% to 70% lower power consumption and heat dissipation. System developers can thus make their electronic products more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly.

ITRI has developed the following technologies to reduce model development time and enhance simulation performance without losing model accuracy:

  • Technologies to reduce model creation time
    • Automatic creation of IP model and virtual platform with C-to-TLM flow and Virtual Platform Analyzer (VPA) toolkit
    • Collaborative design framework with unified IP model interface
    • Architecture agnostic modeling approach
    • QEMU-based software processor model
  • Technologies to improve simulation speed
    • Multi-grained stepping with accuracy compensation
    • Event-driven IP modeling with simulation skipping technology
    • Numerical and Analytical thermal solver
    • Simulation acceleration with host CPU/GPU multithreading

The diagram below shows the workflow of PT-ESL.

(click on image to enlarge)

With PT-ESL, power simulation in an industrial case is on average 1,700 times faster than traditional gate-level simulation solutions, with an accuracy of between 92.5% and 97.4%. Thermal simulation, in the same case, is more than 2,000 times faster than commercial products based on finite element method (FEM), with an accuracy of higher than 98%.

PT-ESL enables IC design companies, foundries, system design companies, integrated device manufacturers, and many other actors in the semiconductor industry to make better trade-offs earlier in the design process and balance between product performance and its power and thermal requirements.

Such a platform allows a more collaborative design and manufacturing ecosystem for fostering innovations among mobile, AI, IoT, wearable, high performance computing, automotive, and other applications.

Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI)
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