In this paper, reinitialization-free nonvolatile computer systems are designed and evaluated for energy-harvesting Internet of things (IoT) applications. In energy-harvesting applications, as power supplies generated from renewable power sources cause frequent power failures, data processed need to be backed up when power failures occur. Unless data are safely backed up before power supplies diminish, reinitialization processes are required when power supplies are recovered, which results in low energy efficiencies and slow operations. Using nonvolatile devices in processors and memories can realize a faster backup than a conventional volatile computer system, leading to a higher energy efficiency. To evaluate the energy efficiency upon frequent power failures, typical computer systems including processors and memories are designed using 90nm CMOS or CMOS/magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) technologies. Nonvolatile ARM Cortex-M0 processors with 4 kB MRAMs are evaluated using a typical computing benchmark program, Dhrystone, which shows a few order-of-magnitude reductions in energy in comparison with a volatile processor with SRAM.
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