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We present a clock distribution network that emphasizes flexibility and layout independence. It suits a variety of applications, clock domain shapes and sizes using a modular, standard cell-based design approach that mitigates the effect of intra-die temperature and process variances. We route the clock line serially, using an averaging technique to eliminate skew between clock regions in a domain. Routing clock lines serially allows optimal wire usage for clock networks by eliminating the redundant wires required to match path delays. Our clock network provides control over regional clock skews, can be used in beneficial skew applications and facilitates silicon-debug. Serial clocking permits the use of routing switches in the clock network and allows post-silicon resizing and reshaping of clock domains. Defective sections of the clock network can be bypassed, providing post silicon repair capability. The system uses a closed-loop synchronization phase to combine the clock skew reduction of an actively synchronized clock network with an open-loop operating phase that minimizes power consumption like passive clock networks. Our clock network provides significant flexibility for application-specific integrated circuit, system-on-chip, and field-programmable gate-array designs, exhibiting good operating characteristics everywhere in the design envelope. Our silicon implementation achieves a maximum edge-to-edge uncertainty of 80 ps for regional clocks, which is roughly equal to the cycle-to-cycle jitter of the on-chip clock source.
Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:20 , Issue: 3 )
Date of Publication: March 2012