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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Adaptive Control of Operating and Body Bias Voltages", for Approval

January 29, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Sheng, Eric Chen-Li (San Jose, CA); Ward, Matthew Robert (San Jose, CA), filed on December 31, 2012, was made available online on January 16, 2014.

No assignee for this patent application has been made.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "In order to operate an integrated circuit, e.g., a microprocessor, in an efficient manner, for example, to consume a low amount of energy to accomplish a task, it is known to adjust various controlling parameters. These parameters may include an operating voltage or body-biasing voltage(s) that can be adjusted to a value characteristic of an advantageous power condition in accordance with the task to be accomplished. For example, an operating voltage is set to a minimized value consistent with a desired frequency of operation. Such controlling parameters are conventionally determined, e.g., via a lookup table, based upon characteristics of a manufacturing population of integrated circuits.

"Unfortunately, numerous characteristics related to power consumption of an integrated circuit, e.g., a microprocessor, are highly variable across a manufacturing process. For example, maximum operating frequency, threshold voltage and capacitance may each vary by 30% or more, from batch to batch and even within the same wafer. Leakage current is exponential with threshold voltage and may vary by 500% from nominal. Conventional methods of determining controlling parameters are typically based upon the worst case operation of a population of processor devices, determined, e.g., during a qualification process, generally prior to general availability of the integrated circuit devices. Consequently, many or most of a manufactured population of integrated circuits are capable of more efficient operation. Unfortunately, such conventional methods of determining controlling parameters do not enable such enhanced efficient behavior from such integrated circuits."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Therefore, adaptive control of operating and body bias voltages is highly desired.

"Accordingly, systems and methods employing adaptive control of operating and body bias voltages are disclosed. In accordance with a first embodiment of the present invention, a desirable operating frequency for the microprocessor is determined. Information stored within and specific to the microprocessor is accessed. The information can comprise coefficients of a quadratic approximation of a frequency-voltage characteristic of the microprocessor for a set of body biasing conditions. An operating voltage for operating the microprocessor at the desirable operating frequency is computed. The microprocessor is operated at the operating voltage and the set of body biasing conditions.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary frequency-voltage characteristic of a specific integrated circuit, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 2 illustrates a method of operating a microprocessor, in accordance with embodiments of the present invention.

"FIG. 3 illustrates a method of manufacturing a microprocessor, in accordance with embodiments of the present invention.

"FIG. 4 illustrates a device, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 5 illustrates an integrated circuit, in accordance with embodiments of the present invention.

"FIG. 6 illustrates exemplary frequency-voltage characteristics of a specific integrated circuit, in accordance with embodiments of the present invention.

"FIG. 7 illustrates a method of operating a microprocessor, in accordance with embodiments of the present invention.

"FIG. 8 illustrates a process of manufacturing an integrated circuit, in accordance with embodiments of the present invention.

"FIG. 9 illustrates a process of manufacturing an integrated circuit, in accordance with embodiments of the present invention.

"FIG. 10 illustrates a method of operating a microprocessor, in accordance with embodiments of the present invention."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Sheng, Eric Chen-Li; Ward, Matthew Robert. Adaptive Control of Operating and Body Bias Voltages. Filed December 31, 2012 and posted January 16, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=350&p=7&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140109.PD.&OS=PD/20140109&RS=PD/20140109

Keywords for this news article include: Patents, Electronics, Microprocessors.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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