Effective and efficient approach for power reduction by using multi-bit flip-flops

Ya Ting Shyu, Jai Ming Lin, Chun Po Huang, Cheng Wu Lin, Ying Zu Lin, Soon Jyh Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)


Power has become a burning issue in modern VLSI design. In modern integrated circuits, the power consumed by clocking gradually takes a dominant part. Given a design, we can reduce its power consumption by replacing some flip-flops with fewer multi-bit flip-flops. However, this procedure may affect the performance of the original circuit. Hence, the flip-flop replacement without timing and placement capacity constraints violation becomes a quite complex problem. To deal with the difficulty efficiently, we have proposed several techniques. First, we perform a co-ordinate transformation to identify those flip-flops that can be merged and their legal regions. Besides, we show how to build a combination table to enumerate possible combinations of flip-flops provided by a library. Finally, we use a hierarchical way to merge flip-flops. Besides power reduction, the objective of minimizing the total wirelength is also considered. The time complexity of our algorithm is Θ(n1.12) less than the empirical complexity of Θ(n 2). According to the experimental results, our algorithm significantly reduces clock power by 20-30% and the running time is very short. In the largest test case, which contains 1 700 000 flip-flops, our algorithm only takes about 5 min to replace flip-flops and the power reduction can achieve 21%.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6178020
Pages (from-to)624-635
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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