High-level synthesis for low-power design

Zhiru Zhang, Deming Chen, Steve Dai, Keith Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Power and energy efficiency have emerged as first-order design constraints across the computing spectrum from handheld devices to warehouse-sized datacenters. As the number of transistors continues to scale, effectively managing design complexity under stringent power constraints has become an imminent challenge of the IC industry. The manual process of power optimization in RTL design has been increasingly difficult, if not already unsustainable. Complexity scaling dictates that this process must be automated with robust analysis and synthesis algorithms at a higher level of abstraction. Along this line, high-level synthesis (HLS) is a promising technology to improve design productivity and enable new opportunities for power optimization for higher design quality. By allowing early access to the system architecture, high-level decisions during HLS can have a significant impact on the power and energy efficiency of the synthesized design. In this paper, we will discuss the recent research development of using HLS to effectively explore a multi-dimensional design space and derive low-power implementations. We provide an in-depth coverage of HLS low-power optimization techniques and synthesis algorithms proposed in the last decade. We will also describe the key power optimization challenges facing HLS today and outline potential opportunities in tackling these challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-25
Number of pages14
JournalIPSJ Transactions on System LSI Design Methodology
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


  • Algorithm
  • Compiler optimization
  • Hardware acceleration
  • High-level synthesis
  • Low-power design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'High-level synthesis for low-power design'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this