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Constant-ratio-coupled multi-grain digital synchronizer with flexible input-output delay selection for versatility in low-power applications

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3 Author(s)
Y. Sasaki ; Central Res. Lab., Hitachi Ltd., Tokyo, Japan ; N. Kato ; H. Nakaya

The constant-ratio-coupled multi-grain digital synchronizer (CRC-MGsynchronizer) is proposed as a means for making high-speed connections with very low power consumption, both among multiple chips such as processors, controllers, and storage devices, and among on-chip modules. The synchronizer not only provides a wide range of operating frequencies, but is fast locking and only occupies a small area on chip. Therefore, it contributes to large reductions in power consumption and costs. It is suitable for use in various low-power systems (e.g., battery-hungry mobile appliances and low-cost consumer electronic products). Three major techniques were applied to the design: 1)a multi-grain structure for the delay elements, which greatly reduces the number of gates while facilitating locking in a very small number of clock cycles;2) constant-ratio-coupled (CRC) delay lines (measurement versus generation)for flexible selection of the input-output delay; and 3) a new lock stage decision circuit (LSDC) scheme, conferring excellent testability. Moreover,the architecture is all-digital, and thus it has high process portability. By applying these techniques to a DDR memory interface circuit for a mobile application processor fabricated in 130-nm technology, we were able to reduce power consumption by 42% and chip area by 65% compared with a conventional implementation. Furthermore, the novel design spans a frequency range covering 12 times the minimum frequency.

Published in:

IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits  (Volume:41 ,  Issue: 5 )