A New Paradigm for Low-power, Variation-Tolerant Circuit Synthesis Using Critical Path Isolation

Swaroop Ghosh, Swarup Bhunia, Kaushik Roy
2006 Computer-Aided Design (ICCAD), IEEE International Conference on  
Design considerations for robustness with respect to variations and low power operations typically impose contradictory design requirements. Low power design techniques such as voltage scaling, dual-Vth etc. can have a large negative impact on parametric yield. In this paper, we propose a novel paradigm for low-power variationtolerant circuit design, which allows aggressive voltage scaling. The principal idea is to (a) isolate and predict the set ofpossible paths that may become critical under
more » ... ome critical under process variations, (b) ensure that they are activated rarely, and (c) avoid possible delay failures in the critical paths by dynamically switching to two-cycle operation (assuming all standard operations are single cycle), when they are activated. This allows us to operate the circuit at reduced supply voltage while achieving the required yield. Simulation results on a set of benchmark circuits at 70nm process technology show average power reduction of 60% with less than 10% performance overhead and 18% overhead in die-area compared to conventional synthesis. Application of the proposed methodology to pipelined design is also investigated.
doi:10.1109/iccad.2006.320025 fatcat:dxsq6wwpobex5oqrzjz7k2inrm