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We present an adaptive technique for compensating manufacturing and environmental variability in subthreshold circuits using “canary flip-flop (FF),” which can predict timing errors. A 32-bit Kogge-Stone adder whose performance was controlled by body-biasing was fabricated in a 65-nm CMOS process. Measurement results show that the adaptive control can compensate process, supply voltage, and temperature variations and improve the energy efficiency of subthreshold circuits by up to 46% compared to worst-case design and operation with guardbanding. We also discuss how to determine design parameters, such as the inserted location and the buffer delay of the canary FF, supposing two approaches: configuration in the design phase and post-silicon tuning.
Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:20 , Issue: 2 )
Date of Publication: Feb. 2012