Estimation of microprocessor instantaneous load current

William J. Lambert, Michael J. Hill, Raja Ayyanar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The inability to accurately determine the die level current draw of microprocessors is a significant gap in the analysis and design of microprocessor power delivery networks (PDNs). Although low frequency methods of direct measurement are available, the large number of power and ground connections on a package makes high frequency measurements extremely difficult. This paper successfully demonstrates that the instantaneous load current can be accurately estimated to over 500 MHz with only a wide bandwidth measurement of the voltage at the die. The current estimate is obtained by using the measured output impedance to create a band-limited inverse filter to solve the linear deconvolution problem. The accuracy of the algorithm is verified by correctly estimating known loads drawn by a functioning microprocessor. Two separate methods are then used to estimate the instantaneous load current of a microprocessor executing instructions, and wide bandwidth i0(t) results are presented and discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5229113
Pages (from-to)831-840
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Advanced Packaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • Load estimation
  • Microprocessor
  • Output impedance
  • Power delivery
  • Power delivery network (PDN)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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