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Multi-threshold CMOS (MTCMOS) is commonly used for suppressing leakage currents in idle integrated circuits. Power and ground distribution network noise produced during SLEEP to ACTIVE mode transitions is an important reliability concern in MTCMOS circuits. Sleep signal slew rate modulation techniques for suppressing mode-transition noise are explored in this paper. A triple-phase sleep signal slew rate modulation (TPS) technique with a novel digital sleep signal generator is proposed. Reactivation time, mode-transition energy consumption, leakage power consumption, and layout area of different MTCMOS circuits are characterized under an equal-noise constraint. Influences of within-die and die-to-die parameter variations on the reactivation noise, time, and energy consumption of sleep signal slew rate modulated MTCMOS circuits are evaluated with a process imperfections aware robustness metric. The proposed triple-phase sleep signal slew rate modulation technique enhances the tolerance to process parameter fluctuations by up to 183.1× as compared to various alternative MTCMOS noise suppression techniques in a UMC 80-nm CMOS technology.
Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:21 , Issue: 3 )
Date of Publication: March 2013