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2014 International Green Computing Conference (IGCC) (2014)
DALLAS, TX, USA
Nov. 3, 2014 to Nov. 5, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4799-6177-1
pp: 1-8
Antonios Antoniadis , Max-Planck Institut für Informatik
Neal Barcelo , Department of Computer Science, University of Pittsburgh
Michael Nugent , Department of Computer Science, University of Pittsburgh
Kirk Pruhs , Department of Computer Science, University of Pittsburgh
Michele Scquizzato , Department of Computer Science, University of Pittsburgh
ABSTRACT
In the traditional approach to circuit design the supply voltages for each transistor/gate are set sufficiently high so that with sufficiently high probability no transistor fails. One potential method to attain more energy-efficient circuits is Near-Threshold Computing, which simply means that the supply voltages are designed to be closer to the threshold voltage. However, this energy saving comes at a cost of a greater probability of functional failure, which necessitates that the circuits must be more fault tolerant, and thus contain more gates. Thus achieving energy savings with Near-Threshold Computing involves properly balancing the energy used per gate with the number of gates used. We show that if there is a better (in terms of worst-case relative error with respect to energy) method than the traditional approach then P = NP, and thus there is a complexity theoretic obstacle to achieving energy savings with Near-Threshold Computing.
INDEX TERMS
Logic gates, Integrated circuit modeling, Wires, Computational modeling, Approximation methods, Threshold voltage, Transistors
CITATION

A. Antoniadis, N. Barcelo, M. Nugent, K. Pruhs and M. Scquizzato, "Complexity-theoretic obstacles to achieving energy savings with near-threshold computing," 2014 International Green Computing Conference (IGCC), DALLAS, TX, USA, 2014, pp. 1-8.
doi:10.1109/IGCC.2014.7039142
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