A High-level Interconnect Power Model for Design Space Exploration

Pallav Gupta, Lin Zhong, Niraj K. Jha

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


In this paper, we present a high-level power model to estimate the power consumption in semi-global and global interconnects. Such interconnects are used for communications between logic modules, clock distribution networks, and power supply rails. The main purpose of our model is to set forward a simple methodology to efficiently obtain first-order estimates of interconnect power in early stages of the design process. Hence, the objective is to provide designers and/or high-level design automation tools with a way to quickly explore the design space and weed out architectures whose interconnect power requirements do not meet the allocated power budget. In addition to switching power, which includes inter-wire coupling, our model also considers power due to vias and repeaters. Our experimental results show that in comparison to an accurate low-level model, the error in our method in estimating total switching power is only 6% (while the speedup is three-to-four orders of magnitude), and an estimate of the numbers of vias (hence, via power) is within 3% agreement of that obtained for designs synthesized by commercial tools. Furthermore, we develop a probabilistic segment length distribution model for cases in which Rent's rule is inadequate. By analyzing the netlists of a set of complex designs, we have been able to validate our segment length distribution model. The novelty of this work lies in the introduction of a high-level interconnect modeling methodology in which it is possible to efficiently compute all the major sources of power consumption in interconnects and hence, enable interconnect-aware, high-level design space exploration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-558
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE/ACM International Conference on Computer-Aided Design, Digest of Technical Papers
StatePublished - 2003
EventIEEE/ACM International Conference on Computer Aided Design ICCAD 2003: IEEE/ACM Digest of Technical Papers - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Nov 9 2003Nov 13 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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