For their ground-breaking research in the area of voltage scaling processors, faculty and former students of the department received the 2012 ICCAD Ten Year Retrospective Most Influential Paper Award. The award is based on the paper, “Combined Dynamic Voltage Scaling and Adaptive Body Biasing for Lower Power Microprocessors under Dynamic Workloads,” by Steven Martin (MSE PhD EE ’01 ’05), Krisztián Flautner (BSE CE, MSE and PhD CSE ’96 ’98 ’01), Prof. Trevor Mudge, and Prof. David Blaauw, which was originally presented at the 2002 ICCAD Conference. This paper was judged to be the most influential on research and industrial practice in computer-aided design of integrated circuits over the past ten years.
According to Prof. Blaauw, the research addressed voltage scaling of processors at the point where, at very low voltages, voltage leakage begins to dominate the computational power consumption. The authors proposed using two methods simultaneously, dynamic voltage scaling (DVS) and and adaptive body biasing, instead of DVS alone. With this method, they were able to achieve fairly dramatic energy savings. The researchers developed models for the process to guide other designers in their own work.
This research grew out of a class project of Dr. Steve Martin’s while taking a course by Prof. Blaauw at the University of Michigan. At the time, Prof. Blaauw stated that they considered the concept to be fairly straight-forward. However, they were the first to shine the light on the issue and provide a clear formulation for working with voltage scaling.
Dr. Martin says he is honored to receive the award, and believes that the paper has been influential due to the “technology-agnostic approach we took in the fundamental analysis and application of the results, and to the pervasive nature of power-aware design in both the research community and in industry.”
About the authors
Prof. David Blaauw’s current research focuses on ultra-low-power and adaptive VLSI design, including millimeter-scale sensor nodes, adaptive design using razor, and low power data servers. Trevor Mudge, Bredt Family Professor of Engineering, directs the ARM Research Center at the University of Michigan, which focuses on all aspects of low-power computer systems. His current projects include near threshold computing architectures, software defined radio, and exascale computing.
Dr. Steven Martin (MSE PhD EE ’01 ’05) is currently Product Architect at Avago Technologies, where he is involved in the management, development, and commercialization of novel semiconductor technologies and products for wireless applications. Dr. Krisztián Flautner (BSE MSE PhD CSE, ’96 ’98 ’01) is the Vice President for Research and Development at ARM, and a visiting scholar at the University of Michigan.