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In high performance microprocessors, integer execution cores are one of the hottest thermal spots and peak current/power delivery limiters. This paper describes a dual-supply and dual-threshold optimized 32-bit integer execution ALU and register file loop for 8.3GHz operation in 1.2V, 90nm CMOS technology. Aggressive supply/threshold scaling on the ALU and nominal supply/threshold on the register file enables up to 25% peak energy reduction without sacrificing performance or array bit-cells stability. A hybrid split-output style CVSL sequential level converter at the ALU-register file interface is also described for robust, DC power free dual-Vcc operation. The proposed sequential occupies 10% smaller area, and saves 11% active leakage power and 14% worst case switching power as compared to conventional CVSL style sequential at the same performance.
Date of Conference: 8-10 Aug. 2005