There are several techniques available for low power design, but whenever a nanowatt or picojoule matters, all available methods must be used.
Some of the necessary techniques are different from those used for high-end designs. Others have been lost over time because their impact was considered too small, or not worth the additional design effort. But for devices that last a lifetime on a single battery or scavenge the power that they need to operate, no stone can remain unturned.
“For the past three decades, people have optimized and reduced the power by going to lower geometry nodes,” says Anoop Saha, senior manager of strategy and business development for the Calypto group of Mentor, a Siemens Business. “But for IoT devices that are operated by a battery, that is when people start to get concerned about microjoules and picojoules of energy. Then, extremely low power becomes much more critical. I see a gap between what exists now versus what the market needs.”