From time to time publishers send me books to review. Some time the book subject is not particularly related to EDA, but recently I received two books that have interested me.
The first one is titled: "Low Power Methodology Manual for System-On-Chip Design". It is published by Springer and the authors are: David Flynn and Robert Aitken from ARM, and Michael Keating, Alan Gibbons, and Kaijian Shi from Synopsys. The book is divided in fourteen chapters and two appendices. The first three chapters are an introduction to low power design methods and multi-voltage design. Chapter four to seven deal with power gating, a topic that has been covered recently in the Design Center section of this site. You can read the article at:
Utilizing clock-gating Efficiency to reduce power.
Chapter eight through eleven present various design techniques ranging from designing IP for low power, to scaling of voltage and frequency, to multi-voltage power gating. Physical libraries and retention register design are covered in chapter twelve and thirteen, while the final chapter covers the design of the power switching network. Finally Appendix A proposes a design of a sleep transistor and Appendix B gives the Unified Power Format (UPF) command syntax.
Although the book does use the UPF standard, the examples it contains give a valid blueprint that can be easily adapted to other design methods.
The second book is by Peter Ashenden and Jim Lewis and is published by Morgan Kaufmann. The title: "VHDL-2008 Just the New Stuff" describes the material perfectly. Peter and Jim are recognized VHDL experts and their presentation method is well suited both to those who want to study the language features that distinguish VHDL-2003 from VHDL-2008, as well as to those designers looking for ways to describea design in a new way, or maybe find a way to use VHDL as they never could in the past.
The ten chapters are well structured and make it very easy to quickly find coding examples for each new feature, especially the new VHDL Procedural Interface (VHPI) that I consider a major addition to the language. My only negative comment to the entire book is that I would have liked a greater number of pages dedicated to the subject, but I am ready to admit that this comes from a personal bias, not from any demonstrable design need.
The contents of the book do demonstrate that although VHDL has been surpassed in popularity by SystemVerilog and SystemC for behavioral design, neither of those languages can claim technical superiority to VHDL when it comes to behavioral design.