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VLSI Design
Volume 12 (2001), Issue 2, Pages 233-243

Signal Strength Based Switching Activity Modeling and Estimation for DSP Applications

1School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette 47906, IN, USA
2Texas Instruments, Dallas 75243, TX, USA

Received 20 June 2000; Revised 3 August 2000

Copyright © 2001 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We present an effective switching activity modeling and estimation technique for components under resource sharing. The model uses word-level signal statistics to generate a single parameter, called signal strength. By using the signal strength, we can construct power models for the both cases of sharing and non-sharing of computing resources. The model enables us to effectively estimate switching activity at higher level of design abstraction. We have conducted several experiments using both synthetic and real data to evaluate our method. We have compared competing architectures for their relative power consumption for different components. The results show that average difference between the proposed method and very accurate power simulation (as opposed to switching estimation) using PowerMill is up to 12%.