The COMCAS project aims at breakthrough low-power design solutions for (data) communication-centric heterogeneous multi core architectures targeting 45nm and 32nm CMOS technologies. These architectures will be exploited in a number of future applications (e.g., the next generation of programmable multi-processor mobile phones and mobile digital entertainment devices). COMCAS investigations concern the complete low-power design hierarchy looking at all aspects from system level choices, modeling of applications (algorithms, protocols) and architectures, maximize the reuse of existing IPs using the most appropriate tool chains, partitioning and mapping, cycle-accurate and bit-true virtual prototyping, minimal power design blending semi- and full custom circuit designs at transistor level in technologies of 45 nm and beyond.

COMCAS builds on the results of the Medea+ LoMoSA+ project, which aimed at the creation of European low-power expertise for mobile and multimedia applications based on homogeneous architectures. COMCAS extends this goal with its focus on communication-centric multi-processor architectures, which ask for disruptive solutions (new tool chains, architecture, circuit and software tools for applications mapping) for an unprecedented level of complexity never engineered before.

In this project silicon will be realized in 45 nm, but also in 65nm or 90nm as a proof of concept. The tool chain and methodologies that will be developed in the project will use standards as much as possible (e.g. IP-XACT) and the project partners will participate to standardization bodies. The heterogeneous multi core design solutions developed in COMCAS will have a potential to increase the energy efficiency by reducing energy with a factor of five! The new technologies used in the COMCAS platforms, combined with the lower power consumption allow for the design of smaller form factor devices capable of delivering HD video, high-resolution imaging, desktop-class 3D graphics.

One of the most popular high-end phones on the market today consumes 2W when playing HD video. This means one battery charge will last for only 2 hours. With the COMCAS innovations the play time should be increased to 10 hours for this use case. At the end of the project demonstrators will be realized to show the goal of COMCAS has been achieved: power reduction by a factor of five with a performance that is at least equal compared to today’s systems.