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Surface peaks thermal detection is necessary in modern VLSI (very large scale integration) circuits; their internal stress due to packaging combined with local self heating becomes serious and may result in large performance variation, circuit malfunction and even chip cracking. This paper presents a VLSI thermal stress monitoring approach using GDS (gradient direction sensors) method. The design of surface peaks thermal detector algorithm (SPTDA) with flexible modular-based architecture will be presented. Several approaches were implemented to achieve a better performance for the SPTDA algorithm operation. A parallel processing strategy is used to minimize computational delay. Furthermore, a hardware-efficient factoring approach for calculating tangent and division functions required by SPTDA algorithm is used to minimize silicon space in regards of their implementation. Description of the algorithm developed for the surface peaks thermal detection and the architecture implementation results are reported and compared with finite element method (FEM) temperature predictions.
Date of Conference: 4-7 May 2008