Runtime mechanisms for leakage current reduction in CMOS VLSI circuits

A. Abdollahi, F. Fallah, Massoud
2002 Proceedings of the International Symposium on Low Power Electronics and Design  
This paper describes two runtime mechanisms for reducing the leakage current of a CMOS circuit. In both cases, it is assumed that the system or environment produces a "sleep" signal that can be used to indicate that the circuit is in a standby mode. In the first method, the "sleep" signal is used to shift in a new set of external inputs and pre-selected internal signals into the circuit with the goal of setting the logic values of all of the internal signals so as to minimize the total leakage
more » ... urrent in the circuit. This minimization is possible because the leakage current of a CMOS gate is a strong function of the input combination applied to its inputs. In the second method, NMOS and PMOS transistors are added to some of the gates in the circuit to increase the controllability of the internal signals of the circuit and decrease the leakage current of the gates using the "stack effect". This is, however, done carefully so that the minimum leakage is achieved subject to a delay constraint for all input-output paths in the circuit. In both cases, Boolean satisfiability is used to formulate the problems, which are subsequently solved by employing a highly efficient SAT solver. Experimental results on the circuits in the MCNC91 benchmark suite demonstrate that it is possible to reduce the leakage current by up to 70% in VLSI circuits at the expense of a very small overhead.
doi:10.1109/lpe.2002.146739 fatcat:k6dtf6ezj5cgfmzy377u4m6cse