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Power Management Methodologies for IoT Edge Devices

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  • Full or part time
    Dr V Pavlidis
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Internet of Things (IoT) applications interact with the physical world through a multitude of sensors and actuators. These sensors and actuators require appropriate power supply which is different from the power supply used in microcontrollers (MCU) and processor architectures. In addition, to accommodate the vastly different data rates required by the disparate IoT applications and the limited energy budget as many of the IoT devices rely on batteries, the processing circuits, aiming the IoT domain, are designed to support many operating points, thereby requiring a wide range of voltage supply [1]. State-of-the-art power management circuits (PMIC) already support few tens of power supplies [2] and this demand can further increase as more sensors and actuators augment consumer electronics and more broadly IoT devices.
This situation brings new challenges to the problem of power management which this project aims to tackle. Thus, the objective is to propose novel components and design methodologies for the future PMIC where the efficiency of the DC-DC conversion and regulation circuits is maintained (or improved) while all of the components of the PMIC are integrated on-chip [3], [4], [5]. In addition, the new PMIC should consider emerging packaging technologies, such as the interposers [6] that offer an enhanced platform for reducing the form factor of the IoT devices as interposers enable the dense integration of sensors, MCUs, and PMIC in the same package.
The student will develop knowledge in circuits relating to voltage conversion and regulation and/or in power management algorithms and techniques for a large variety of workloads and system operating points. That is the project will emphasize either the circuit or system level design of PMIC or both, depending on the skills of the interested candidates. The student will gain expertise in the design of PMIC, a critical component in the markets of consumer electronics (including tablets and smartphones), IoT edge devices (MCU and IoT processors), and automotive (Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS)).

Funding Notes

This research project is one of a number of projects at this institution. It is in competition for funding with one or more of these projects. Usually the project which receives the best applicant will be awarded the funding. The funding is available to citizens of a number of European countries (including the UK). In most cases this will include all EU nationals. However full funding may not be available to all applicants and you should read the full department and project details for further information.


[1]. RFSOI and FDSOI enabling smarter and IoT applications
[2]. [Online]: Dialog semiconductors.
[3]. E. A. Burton et al., "FIVR - Fully Integrated Voltage Regulators on 4th Generation Intel Core SoCs," Proceedings of the Applied Power Electronics Conference, pp. 432-439, March 2014.
[4]. M. Lee, et al., "A 500-MHz, 0.76-W/mm2 Power Density and 76.2% Power Efficiency, Fully Integrated Digital Buck Converter in 65-nm CMOS," IEEE Tran. on Industry App., Vol. 52, No. 4, pp. 3315-3323, Jul/Aug 2016.
5]. A. Paul et al., "System-Level Power Analysis of a Multicore Multipower Domain Processor with ON-Chip Voltage Regulators," IEEE Tran. Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems, Vol. 24, no. 12, pp. 3468-3476, Dec. 2016.
[6]. V. F. Pavlidis et al., Three-Dimensional Integrated Circuit Design, 2nd Ed., Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, Elsevier, 2017.

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