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Titre: Quasi-Synchronous Circuits for Energy-Efficient Signal Processing Systems
Conférencier: François Leduc-Primeau , Télécom Bretagne, France
Lieu: Polytechnique Montréal, Pavillon Lassonde, M-2101 ,
Date et heure: jeudi le 15 décembre 2016 de 09:00 à 11:30

Résumé: While for a long time the capabilities of digital systems have been increasing exponentially according to Moore's famous prediction, this continued progression is now hampered by the difficulty of reducing the energy consumption of CMOS circuits. A possible approach to improve energy efficiency consists in bringing the supply voltage closer to the threshold voltage. However, this increases the circuit's sensitivity to variations, and in a conventional synchronous system, forces the use of large safety margins to ensure the reliable operation of the system. The requirement that circuits should be reliable is therefore a major impediment to increased energy efficiency. In this talk, we discuss the design of quasi-synchronous systems, which allow some timing violations to occur to decrease energy consumption, while preserving a desired performance level. This approach is particularly suited to signal processing systems that include a form of redundancy, such as error-correction decoders. We focus on the case of an LDPC decoder, and show how the impact of circuit faults can be modeled accurately, and present a low-complexity method to find operating conditions for the circuit that minimize energy subject to performance constraints.

Note biographique: François Leduc-Primeau received the B.Eng. degree in 2007, the M.Eng. degree in 2010, and the Ph.D. degree in 2016, all in Computer Engineering from McGill University, Montréal, Canada. In 2016, he joined Télécom Bretagne (Institut Mines-Télécom), Brest, France, as a postdoctoral researcher. At McGill University, he was involved in the teaching of courses and projects on computer architecture, digital system design, and embedded systems. His research work is at the crossroads between digital system design and signal processing, targeting error-correction codes and other telecommunications and signal processing algorithms. His recent and ongoing work focuses on energy efficiency in high performance systems. He proposed a novel design approach called quasi-synchronous systems to improve energy efficiency by letting faults occur in the circuits without degrading performance. Dr. Leduc-Primeau also worked as a consultant on error-correction systems for major signal processing hardware companies, for whom he designed new decoding algorithms and system architectures to meet challenging requirements.

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