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Noise propagation and failure criteria for VLSI designs

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8 Author(s)

Noise analysis has become a critical concern in advanced chip designs. Traditional methods suffer from two common issues. First, noise that is propagated through the driver of a net is combined with noise injected by capacitively coupled aggressor nets using linear summation. Since this ignores the non-linear behavior of the driver gate the noise that develops on a net can be significantly underestimated. We therefore propose a new linear model that accurately combines propagated and injected noise on a net and which maintains the efficiency of linear simulation. After the propagated and injected noise are correctly combined on a victim net, it is necessary to determine if the noise can result in a functional failure. This is the second issue that we discuss in this paper. Traditionally, noise failure criteria have been based on unity gain points of the DC or AC transfer curves. However, we will show that for digital designs, these approaches can result in a pessimistic analysis in some cases, while in other cases, they allow circuit operation that is extremely close to regions that are unstable and do not allow sufficient margin for error in the analysis. In this paper, we compare the effectiveness of the discussed noise failure criteria and also present a propagation based method, which is intended to overcome these drawbacks. The proposed methods were implemented in a noise analysis tool and we demonstrate results on industrial circuits.

Published in:

Computer Aided Design, 2002. ICCAD 2002. IEEE/ACM International Conference on

Date of Conference:

10-14 Nov. 2002