Though my vision for IoT goes beyond simple energy-efficiency, because it is the same old story – you can be very efficient in perfect conditions (narrow band of power supply).
Instead, it should be about operating in a wide dynamic power range. Therefore energy-modulated computing is a way. Scoop some energy from the environment and drive your logic from a cap! There maybe nothing left for computation if you start to apply smart power regulation. As we say in Russian – “ne do gribov” (no chance for luxury)!
This memo talks about an emerging paradigm of computing using hyperbolas that are a result of the dynamic behaviour in systems consisting of a container (capacitor, bank account …) and a discrete event generator whose level of activity is modulated by the amount stored in the container (pressure, charge, amount of money…). It attempts to raise motivation for studying this phenomenon from some basic principles and analogues in real world (economy, physics, biology).
I wrote this article as a chapter to Peter Cheung’s 60th birthday Festschrift.
Here is the abstract:
The writing of this paper has been inspired by the motivating ideas of
incorporating self-awareness into systems that have been studied by
Prof Cheung in connection to dealing with variability and ageing in
nano-scale electronics. We attempt here to exploit the opportunities for
making systems self-aware, and taking it further, see them in a
biological perspective of survival under harsh operating conditions.
Survivability is developed here in the context of the availability of
energy and power, where the notion of power-modulation will navigate
us towards the incorporation into system design of the mechanisms
analogous to instincts in human brain. These mechanisms are
considered here through a set of novel techniques for reference-free
sensing and elastic memory for data retention. This is only a beginning
in the exploration of system design for survival, and many other
developments such as design of self-aware communication fabric are
further on the way.