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Green Technologies for Intelligent and Connected Circuits&Systems Powered by Renewable Energy Sources


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Recent semiconductor scaling trends continue to support the evolution of silicon systems beyond the inevitable end of technology scaling, growing the deployment of intelligent and connect chips towards the trillion range by the end of the decade. Such evolution vastly outranges any application ever deployed by human beings, and its sustained growth is now fundamentally impeded by batteries as conventional source of energy. From a silicon chip viewpoint, batteries at the trillion scale severely limit advances in cost, form factor, system lifespan and chip availability over time. From a societal perspective, batteries in the trillions threaten economic and environmental sustainability of the underlying scaling trend, and hence its feasibility. This keynote introduces key concepts and silicon demonstrations of a new breed of always-on silicon systems with ultra-wide power adaptation down to nWs, and no battery inside (or other energy storage). Adaptation to the highly-fluctuating power profile of energy harvesters is shown to enable next-generation pervasive integrated systems with cost well below 1$, size of few millimeters, long lifetime well beyond the traditional shelf life of batteries, yet at near-100% up-time. The principles are exemplified by numerous silicon demonstrations of sensor interfaces, processing, power management and wireless communications, as well as of full systems. Ultimately, the technological pathway discussed in this keynote supports the sustained growth of applications leveraging large-scale deployments of silicon systems, making our planet smarter. And greener too.