IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits

A 1-V programmable DSP for wireless communications

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In an effort to extend battery life, the manufacturers of portable consumer electronics are continually driving down the supply voltages of their systems. For example, next-generation cellular phones are expected to utilize a 1-V power supply for their digital components. To address this market, an energy-efficient, programmable digital signal processing (DSP) chip that operates from a 1-V supply has been designed, fabricated, and tested. The DSP features an instruction set and micro-architecture that are specifically targeted at wireless communication applications and that have been carefully optimized to minimize power consumption without sacrificing performance. The design utilizes a 0.35-μm dual-Vt technology with 0.25-μm minimum gate lengths that enables good performance at 1 V. Specifically, the chip dissipates 17 mW at 1 V, achieving 63-MHz operation with a power-performance metric of 0.21 mW/MHz.