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Near threshold computing has recently gained significant interest due to its potential to address the prohibitive increase of power consumption in a wide spectrum of modern VLSI circuits. This tutorial paper starts by reviewing the benefits and challenges of near threshold computing. We focus on the challenge of variability and discuss circuit and architecture solutions tailored to three different circuit fabrics: logic, memory, and clock distribution. Soft-edge clocking, body-biasing, mismatch-tolerant memories, asynchronous operation and low-skew clock networks are presented to mitigate variability in the near threshold VDD regime.
Emerging and Selected Topics in Circuits and Systems, IEEE Journal on (Volume:1 , Issue: 1 )
Date of Publication: March 2011