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Limitation of CMOS supply-voltage scaling by MOSFET threshold-voltage variation

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2 Author(s)
Shih Wei Sun ; Motorola Inc., Austin, TX, USA ; Tsui, P.G.Y.

A fundamental limit of CMOS supply-voltage (VCC) scaling has been investigated and quantified as a function of the statistical variation of MOSFET threshold-voltage (VT). Based on the data extracted from a sub-0.5 μm logic technology, the variation of ring-oscillator propagation-delay (TPD) significantly increases as VCC is scaled down towards the MOSFET VT (Fig. 1). An empirical power-law relationship was then derived to describe the scattering of circuit speed (ΔTPD) as a function of MOSFET VT variation(ΔVT) and (VCC-VT). Agreement between the model and the experimental data was established for VCC values from 4.0 V to 0.9 V. This fundamental limit of CMOS VCC scaling poses an additional challenge for the design and manufacturing of high-performance, low-power portable equipment and battery based systems

Published in:

Custom Integrated Circuits Conference, 1994., Proceedings of the IEEE 1994

Date of Conference:

1-4 May 1994

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