1.1 Background Moore s Law predicts a decrease by a factor of two in the feature size of CMOS te- nology every three years and has been valid for years. It implies a doubling of the - eration speed and a four times higher transistor count per unit of area, every three years. The combination leads to an eight times higher processing capability per unit of area. This on-going miniaturization allows the integration of complex electronic systems with millions of transistors (Very-Large-Scale-Integration) and enables the integration of el- tronic systems. An electronic system A generic picture of an integrated electronic system is shown in ?g. 1.1. The heart of the system is the signal processing core. This core supports a wide variety of functions, such as customization and programmability of multiple applications, channel coding, the de?nition of the user interface, etc. These functions are enabled by DSP, a controller CPU and various blocks of memory. In advanced ICs these blocks provide (almost) all signal processing and usually dominate in the overall power and area consumption of integrated systems. The huge data rates involved, require high-speed busses for communication between these blocks. A power-management unit fuels the system by providing the - propriate supply voltages and currents."
As clocks struck midnight on the 31st December 2009 announcing the dawn of a new decade, amidst the jubilation of a new beginning we paused momentarily to re?ect on the decade that had just past. It was a dif?cult era for many people and organisations. Many were affected by war, terrorism, famine, ?re and tsunamis. First-world citizens enjoyed opportunities to relax in a technologically driven n- vana. People on streets, trains and planes from London, Tokyo to New York sported the white ear buds of iPhones as de rigueur adornments. The pace and intensity of our lives now seems to run at warp speed, we rush from appointment to appoi- ment swigging vitamin-enhanced mineral water obsessing about ?uctuations in our body mass index and the Dow Jones index in equal measure. Yet as individuals we can choose to accept or reject some of these changes. Those with suf?cient ma- rial resources can cocoon themselves in high-security fortress homes or relocate to safer, more tranquil environs, or even redesign themselves with the aid of Botox and a skilled plastic surgeon. Yet some organisations do not have the luxury of volition, they cannot choose whether to accept or reject the affects of environmental changes. A type of organisation that has found itself situated in environments that are increasingly complex and turbulent are academic units (departments, schools and faculties) in many publicly funded universities around the globe.
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