Jim MacDonald, Zilker Labs, Inc.  The need for higher energy efficiency in embedded systems continues to rise on the priority list of systems developers and end users alike, placing the desire for higher functionality and system density on a collision course with the increasing demands of energy savings initiatives such as Energy Star and Climate Savers. Given widely varying system usage trends, the ability to find the operating range within which to optimize the system has proven to be elusive. 

The introduction of recent digital power management ICs enables system developers to incorporate intelligent power systems that can automatically adapt to their environment to reduce system losses and optimize efficiency. These intelligent ICs can automatically compensate for changes in loading and system temperature by enabling energy-saving schemes such as adaptive dead-time control, dynamic voltage scaling, frequency shifting, phase dropping, and discontinuous switching modes. And while some of these operating modes are not new, the power supply’s ability to enable these modes autonomously to optimize system efficiency is unique. At a time when energy consumption is reaching new levels of sensitivity, digital power management can provide the intelligence needed to allow system developers to achieve the optimal balance between performance and efficiency.

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SIGDA Special Interest Group on Design Automation, is ACM's professional development organization for the Electronic Design Automation (EDA) community.
MARLOW A central marketplace for dissemination of low power micro-electronics design.
International Symposium on Low Power Electronics and Design 2008 The premier forum for presentation of recent advances in all aspects of low power design and technologies.