This paper describes the circuit design techniques used for the IBM S/390® Parallel Enterprise Server G4 microprocessor to achieve operation up to 400 MHz. A judicious choice of process technology and concurrent top-down and bottom-up design approaches reduced risk and shortened the design time. The use of timing-driven synthesis/placement methodologies improved design turnaround time and chip timing. The combined use of static, dynamic, and self-resetting CMOS (SRCMOS) circuits facilitated the balancing of design time and performance return. The use of robust PLL design, floorplanning, and clock distribution minimized clock skew. Innovative latch designs permitted performance optimization without adding risk. Microarchitecture optimization and circuit innovations improved the performance of timing-critical macros. Full custom array design with extensive use of SRCMOS circuit techniques resulted in an on-chip L1 cache having 2.0-ns cycle time.
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