Analysis and Design of Energy and Slew Aware Subthreshold Clock Systems

Sch. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Georgia Inst. of Technol., Atlanta, GA, USA
IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems (Impact Factor: 1). 10/2011; 30(9):1349 - 1358. DOI: 10.1109/TCAD.2011.2144595
Source: IEEE Xplore


In this paper, we analyze the effect of clock slew in subthreshold circuits. Specifically, we address the issue that variations in clock slew at the register control can cause serious timing violations. We show that clock slew variations can cause frequency targets to deviate by as much as 28% from the design goals. Based on these observations, we recognize the importance of clock slew control in subthreshold circuits. We propose a systematic approach to design the clock tree for subthreshold circuits to reduce the clock slew variations while minimizing the energy dissipation in the tree. The combined approach, including the wire sizing and dynamic nodal capacitance control, can achieve better slew control (and better timing control) at lower energy in subthreshold circuits.

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