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Integrated Placement and Skew Optimization for Rotary Clocking

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3 Author(s)
Venkataraman, G. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Texas A&M Univ., College Station, TX ; Jiang Hu ; Liu, F.

The clock distribution network is a key component of any synchronous VLSI design. High power dissipation and pressure volume temperature-induced variations in clock skew have started playing an increasingly important role in limiting the performance of the clock network. Rotary clocking is a novel technique which employs unterminated rings formed by differential transmission lines to save power and reduce skew variability. Despite its appealing advantages, rotary clocking requires flip-flop locations to match predesigned clock skew on rotary clock rings. This requirement poses a difficult chicken-and-egg problem which prevents its wide application. In this paper, we propose an integrated placement and skew scheduling methodology to break this hurdle, making rotary clocking compatible with practical design flows. A network flow based flip-flop assignment algorithm and a cost-driven skew optimization algorithm are developed. We also present an integer linear programming formulation that minimizes maximum capacitance loaded at any of the rotary rings, thereby maximizing the operating frequency. Experimental results on benchmark circuits show that our method can reduce the tapping cost (measured as the total length of the wire segments connecting the rotary rings to the clock sinks) for rotary clocking by 33%-53%

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Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 2 )