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Power consumption of a multi-GHz local clock driver is reduced by returning energy stored in the clock-tree load capacitance back to the on-chip power-distribution grid. We call this type of return energy recycling. To achieve a nearly square clock waveform, the energy is transferred in a non-resonant way using an on-chip inductor in a configuration resembling a full-bridge DC-DC converter. A zero-voltage switching technique is implemented in the clock driver to reduce dynamic power loss associated with the high switching frequencies. A prototype implemented in 90 nm CMOS shows a power savings of 35% at 4 GHz. The area needed for the inductor in this new clock driver is about 6% of a local clock region.
Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:57 , Issue: 8 )
Date of Publication: Aug. 2010