IRC: Cross-layer design exploration of Intermittent Robust Computation units for IoTs

by   Arman Roohi, et al.

Energy-harvesting-powered computing offers intriguing and vast opportunities to dramatically transform the landscape of the Internet of Things (IoT) devices by utilizing ambient sources of energy to achieve battery-free computing. In order to operate within the restricted energy capacity and intermittency profile, it is proposed to innovate Intermittent Robust Computation (IRC) Unit as a new duty-cycle-variable computing approach leveraging the non-volatility inherent in spin-based switching devices. The foundations of IRC will be advanced from the device-level upwards, by extending a Spin Hall Effect Magnetic Tunnel Junction (SHE-MTJ) device. The device will then be used to realize SHE-MTJ Majority/Polymorphic Gate (MG/PG) logic approaches and libraries. Then a Logic-Embedded Flip-Flop (LE-FF) is developed to realize rudimentary Boolean logic functions along with an inherent state-holding capability within a compact footprint. Finally, the NV-Clustering synthesis procedure and corresponding tool module are proposed to instantiate the LE-FF library cells within conventional Register Transfer Language (RTL) specifications. This selectively clusters together logic and NV state-holding functionality, based on energy and area minimization criteria. It also realizes middleware-coherent, intermittent computation without checkpointing, micro-tasking, or software bloat and energy overheads vital to IoT. Simulation results for various benchmark circuits including ISCAS-89 validate functionality and power dissipation, area, and delay benefits.


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