Design of thermally robust clock trees using dynamically adaptive clock buffers

Tamer Ragheb, Andrew Ricketts, Mosin Mondal, Sami Kirolos, Greg M. Links, Vijaykrishnan Narayanan, Yehia Massoud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

On-chip temperature gradient has emerged as a major design concern for high-performance integrated circuits for the current and future technology nodes. Clock skew is an undesirable phenomenon for synchronous digital circuits that is exacerbated by the temperature difference between various parts of the clock tree. The main aim of this paper is to provide intelligent solution for minimizing the temperature-dependent clock skew by designing dynamically adaptive circuit elements, particularly the clock buffers. Using an RLC model of the clock tree, we investigate the effect of on-chip temperature gradient on the clock skew for a number of temperature profiles that can arise in practice due to different architectures and applications. As an effective way of mitigating the variable clock skew, we present an adaptive circuit technique that senses the temperature of different parts of the clock tree and adjusts the driving strengths of the corresponding clock buffers dynamically to reduce the clock skew. Simulation results demonstrate that our adaptive technique is capable of reducing the skew by up to 92.4%, leading to much improved clock synchronization and design performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-383
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers
Volume56
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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