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Open Access A Framework to Compare Estimated and Measured Power Consumption on FPGAs

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In this paper, an extensive review of the available publications about comparing estimations versus measurements of power consumption in FPGA technology is carried out. This study reveals that the variety of experimental setups makes it difficult to elaborate solid studies departing from the results of different researchers using meta-analysis techniques. To mitigate this problem, we propose a procedure to standardize the setup of FPGA power estimation experiments. The goal is to make as close as possible power estimations and their corresponding actual on-chip measurements. The main idea is to use a fixed arrangement composed by a parameterized pattern generator block at the input, together with a set of interchangeable IP cores utilized as reference circuits. All the blocks are mapped together inside the FPGA sample, being the clock and reset lines the sole input signals. Thus, both power estimation and actual measurements are performed to the whole system in identical conditions. In order to illustrate the method, the paper includes some examples of the proposed methodology for different cores. A set of 25 circuits have been tested in two FPGA families, obtaining relative errors in power estimation between –61.5% and 9.2%.

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Keywords: EDA TOOLS; ENERGY; FPGAs; LOW-POWER DESIGN; POWER ESTIMATIONS; POWER MEASUREMENTS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2019

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  • The electronic systems that can operate with very low power are of great technological interest. The growing research activity in the field of low power electronics requires a forum for rapid dissemination of important results: Journal of Low Power Electronics (JOLPE) is that international forum which offers scientists and engineers timely, peer-reviewed research in this field.
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