In order to make a signal positive-only, I have the choice between taking the absolute value and multiplying the signal by itself (i.e. taking the signal to the power of two).
Obviously, multiplying the signal by itself requires more circuitry (a multiplier) and the result has a larger dynamic range. Are there other aspects that I need to consider when chosing between the two methods?
Edit: the application is to detect negative and/or positive signal peaks just above the noise level.