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A new methodology is proposed to increase the robustness of pipeline-based circuits. The goal is to improve signal integrity in the presence of power-supply voltage (VDD) and/or temperature (T) variations, without degrading circuit performance. In the proposed methodology, we dynamically control the instant of data capture (the clock edge trigger) in key memory cells, according to local VDD and/or T variations. This way, data integrity loss is avoided, and circuit tolerance to power supply and/or temperature variations is enhanced. The methodology is based on a dynamic delay buffer (DDB) block, used to sense VDD/T variations and to induce dynamic clock skews driving a limited subset of memory elements. Experimental results based on SPICE simulations for 2 sequential circuits are used to demonstrate that careful design may lead to improvements on circuit tolerance to VDD and/or T variations.
Date of Conference: 26-28 Sept. 2007