Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Computer Science and Engineering

Major Professor

Ranganathan, N.


dynamic frequency clocking, multiple supply voltages, low power synthesis, datapath scheduling, average power, peak power, power fluctuation, multicycling, digital watermarking


The proliferation of portable systems and mobile computing platforms has increased the need for the design of low power consuming integrated circuits. The increase in chip density and clock frequencies due to technology advances has made low power design a critical issue. Low power design is further driven by several other factors such as thermal considerations and environmental concerns. In low-power design for battery driven portable applications, the reduction of peak power, peak power differential, average power and energy are equally important. In this dissertation, we propose a framework for the reduction of these parameters through datapath scheduling at behavioral level. Several ILP based and heuristic based scheduling schemes are developed for datapath synthesis assuming : (i) single supply voltage and single frequency (SVSF), (ii) multiple supply voltages and dynamic frequency clocking (MVDFC), and (iii) multiple supply voltages and multicycling (MVMC).

The scheduling schemes attempt to minimize : (i) energy, (ii) energy delay product, (iii) peak power, (iv) simultaneous peak power and average power, (v) simultaneous peak power, average power, peak power differential and energy, and (vi) power fluctuation. A new parameter called "Cycle Power Function" CPF) is defined which captures the transient power characteristics as the equally weighted sum of normalized mean cycle power and normalized mean cycle differential power. Minimizing this parameter using multiple supply voltages and dynamic frequency clocking results in the reduction of both energy and transient power. The cycle differential power can be modeled as either the absolute deviation from the average power or as the cycle-to-cycle power gradient. The switching activity information is obtained from behavioral simulations. Power fluctuation is modeled as the cycle-to-cycle power gradient and to reduce fluctuation the mean power gradient MPG is minimized.

The power models take into consideration the effect of switching activity on the power consumption of the functional units. Experimental results for selected high-level synthesis benchmark circuits under different constraints indicate that significant reductions in power, energy and energy delay product can be obtained and that the MVDFC and MVMC schemes yield better power reduction compared to the SVSF scheme. Several application specific VLSI circuits were designed and implemented for digital watermarking of images. Digital watermarking is the process that embeds data called a watermark into a multimedia object such that the watermark can be detected or extracted later to make an assertion about the object.

A class of VLSI architectures were proposed for various watermarking algorithms : (i) spatial domain invisible-robust watermarking scheme, (ii) spatial domain invisible-fragile watermarking scheme, (iii) spatial domain visible watermarking scheme, (iv) DCT domain invisible-robust watermarking scheme, and (v) DCT domain visible watermarking scheme. Prototype implementation of (i), (ii) and (iii) are given. The hardware modules can be incorporated in a "JPEG encoder" or in a "digital still camera".