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Automating Design of Voltage Interpolation to Address Process Variations

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4 Author(s)
Brownell, K.M. ; Sch. of Eng. & Appl. Sci., Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA, USA ; Khan, A.D. ; Gu-Yeon Wei ; Brooks, D.

Post-fabrication tuning provides a promising design approach to mitigate the performance and power overheads of process variation in advanced fabrication technologies. This paper explores design considerations and VLSI-CAD support for a recently proposed post-fabrication tuning knob called voltage interpolation. Successful implementation of this technique requires examination of the design tradeoffs between circuit tuning range and static power overheads within the synthesis flow of the design process, in addition to the implications of place and route. Results from the exploration of the scheme for a 64-core chip-multiprocessor machine using industrial-grade design blocks show that the scheme can be used to mitigate overhead arising from random and correlated within-die process variations. A design using voltage interpolation can match the nominal delay target with a 16% power cost, or for the same power budget, incur only a 13% delay overhead after variations.

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Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 3 )