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Proceedings of the IEEE

Issue 5 • Date May 2001

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Displaying Results 1 - 11 of 11
  • Scanning the issue - Interconnections - addressing the next challenge of IC technology (part II: design, characterization, and modeling)

    Page(s): 583 - 585
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  • Scanning our past from London: Galileo Ferraris and alternating current

    Page(s): 790 - 792
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    Galileo Ferraris deserves to be far better known. His work with alternating current paved the way for others to develop the induction motors and the three-phase transmission of power that we take for granted today. Because of his "social" concerns, he argued that electric power should be distributed as widely as possible and available to everyone. He argued, for example, that with electric power in the home a mother might earn money by working at home with a loom, rather than by going out to work. Both for his contributions to electrical engineering and for his work to make the benefits of electricity widely available, Galileo Ferraris deserves to be remembered as one of the great names in our profession. View full abstract»

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  • Clock distribution networks in synchronous digital integrated circuits

    Page(s): 665 - 692
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    Clock distribution networks synchronize the flow of data signals among synchronous data paths. The design of these networks can dramatically affect system-wide performance and reliability. A theoretical background of clock skew is provided in order to better understand how clock distribution networks interact with data paths. Minimum and maximum timing constraints are developed from the relative timing between the localized clock skew and the data paths. These constraint relationships are reviewed, and compensating design techniques are discussed. The field of clock distribution network design and analysis can be grouped into a number of subtopics: 1) circuit and layout techniques for structured custom digital integrated circuits; 2) the automated layout and synthesis of clock distribution networks with application to automated placement and routing of gate arrays, standard cells and larger block-oriented circuits; 3) the analysis and modeling of the timing characteristics of clock distribution networks; and 4) the scheduling of the optimal timing characteristics of clock distribution networks based on architectural and functional performance requirements. Each of these areas is described the clock distribution networks of specific industrial circuits are surveyed and future trends are discussed View full abstract»

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  • Progress in the methodologies for the electrical modeling of interconnects and electronic packages

    Page(s): 740 - 771
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    The rapid growth of the electrical modeling and analysis of the interconnect structure, both at the electronic chip and package level, can be attributed to the increasing importance of the electromagnetic properties of the interconnect circuit on the overall electrical performance of state-of-the-art very large scale integration (VLSI) systems. With switching speeds well below 1 ns in today's gigahertz processors, and VLSI circuit complexity exceeding the 100 million transistors per chip mark, power and signal distribution is characterized by multigigahertz bandwidth pulses propagating through a tightly coupled three-dimensional wiring structure that exhibits resonant behavior at the upper part of the spectrum. Consequently, in addition to the inductive and capacitive coupling, present between adjacent wires across the entire frequency bandwidth, distributed electromagnetic effects, manifested as interconnect-induced delay, reflection, radiation, and long-range nonlocal coupling, become prominent at high frequencies, with a decisive impact of overall system performance. The electromagnetic nature of such high-frequency effects, combined with the geometric complexity of the interconnect structure, make the electrical design of today's performance-driven systems extremely challenging. Its success is heavily dependent on the availability of sophisticated electromagnetic modeling methodologies and computer-aided design tools. This paper presents an overview of the different approaches employed today for the development of an electromagnetic modeling and simulation framework that can effectively tackle the complexity of the interconnect circuit and facilitate its design. In addition to identifying the current state of the art, an assessment is given of the challenges that lie ahead in the signal integrity-driven electrical design of tomorrow's performance- and/or portability-driven, multifunctional ULSI systems View full abstract»

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  • Analytical modeling and characterization of deep-submicrometer interconnect

    Page(s): 634 - 664
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    This work addresses two fundamental concepts regarding deep-submicrometer interconnect. First, characterization of on-chip interconnect is considered with particular attention to ultrasmall capacitance measurement and in-situ noise evaluation techniques. An approach to measuring femto-Farad level wiring capacitances is presented that is based on the concept of supplying and removing charge with active devices. The method, called the charge-based capacitance measurement (CBCM) technique, has the advantages of being compact, having high-resolution, and being very simple. We also present a novel time-domain measurement scheme for on-chip crosstalk noise that is based on the use of cascaded high-speed differential pairs to compare a user-defined reference voltage to the unknown noise peak value. The noise measurement technique complements a delay measurement to directly evaluate the impact of capacitive coupling on delay for various victim and aggressor driver sizes as well as arbitrary waveform timing and phase alignments. The second area of emphasis in this work is analytical interconnect modeling. Several important effects are modeled, including a rigorous crosstalk noise model that also includes a timing-level model. Results from this noise model show it to provide accuracy within 10% of SPICE for a wide range of input parameters. The noise model can also be calibrated and verified with comparison to the noise measurement scheme described in this work. A fast Monte Carlo approach to modeling the circuit impact of back-end process variation is presented providing a better depiction of real 3-σ performance spreads compared to the traditional skew-corner approach. Finally. A comprehensive system-level performance model called Berkeley Advanced Chip Performance Calculator (BACPAC) is developed that accounts for a number of relevant deep-submicrometer system design issues. BACPAC has been implemented online and is useful in exploring the capabilities of future very large scale integration systems as well as determining trends and tradeoffs inherent in the design process View full abstract»

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  • 3-D ICs: a novel chip design for improving deep-submicrometer interconnect performance and systems-on-chip integration

    Page(s): 602 - 633
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    Performance of deep-submicrometer very large scale integrated (VLSI) circuits is being increasingly dominated by the interconnects due to decreasing wire pitch and increasing die size. Additionally, heterogeneous integration of different technologies in one single chip is becoming increasingly desirable, for which planar (two-dimensional) ICs may not be suitable. This paper analyzes the limitations of the existing interconnect technologies and design methodologies and presents a novel three-dimensional (3-D) chip design strategy that exploits the vertical dimension to alleviate the interconnect related problems and to facilitate heterogeneous integration of technologies to realize a system-on-a-chip (SoC) design. A comprehensive analytical treatment of these 3-D ICs has been presented and it has been shown that by simply dividing a planar chip into separate blocks, each occurring a separate physical level interconnected by short and vertical interlayer interconnects (VILICs), significant improvement in performance and reduction in wire-limited chip area can be achieved, without the aid of any other circuit or design innovations. A scheme to optimize the interconnect distribution among different interconnect tiers is presented and the effect of transferring the repeaters to upper Si layers has been quantified in this analysis for a two-layer 3-D chip. Furthermore, one of the major concerns in 3-D ICs arising due to power dissipation problems has been analyzed and an analytical model has been presented to estimate the temperatures of the different active layers. It is demonstrated that advancement in heat sinking technology will be necessary in order to extract maximum performance from these chips. Implications of 3-D device architecture on several design issues have also been discussed with special attention to SoC design strategies. Finally some of the promising technologies for manufacturing 3-D ICs have been outlined View full abstract»

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  • High-performance interconnects: an integration overview

    Page(s): 586 - 601
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    The Information Revolution and enabling era of silicon ultralarge-scale integration (ULSI) have spawned an ever-increasing level of functional integration on-chip, driving a need for greater circuit density and higher performance. While traditional transistor scaling has thus far met this challenge, interconnect scaling has become the performance-limiting factor for new designs. The increasing influence of interconnect parasitics on crosstalk noise and R(L)C delay as well as electromigration and power dissipation concerns have stimulated the introduction of low-resistivity copper and low-permittivity (k) dielectrics to provide performance and reliability enhancement. Integration of these new materials into integrated circuit fabrication is a formidable task, requiring material, process, design, and packaging innovations. Additionally, entirely new technologies such as RF and optical interconnects may be required to address future global routing needs and sustain performance improvement View full abstract»

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  • Moment computation of lumped and distributed coupled RC trees with application to delay and crosstalk estimation

    Page(s): 772 - 788
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    In today's deep submicrometer technology the coupling capacitances among individual on-chip RC trees have an essential effect on the signal delay and crosstalk, and the interconnects should be modeled as coupled RC trees. In this paper we provide simple exact explicit formulas for the Elmore delay and higher order voltage moments and a linear order recursive algorithm for the voltage moment computation for lumped and distributed coupled RC trees. By using the formulas and algorithms, the moment-matching method can be efficiently implemented to deal with delay and crosstalk estimation, model order reduction, and optimal design of interconnects. As an application of the algorithm, we provide a new efficient and accurate model for crosstalk estimation in coupled RC trees. Simulation results show it works better than existing methods View full abstract»

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  • Parasitic extraction: current state of the art and future trends

    Page(s): 729 - 739
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    With the increase in circuit performance (higher speeds) and density (smaller feature size) in deep submicrometer (DSM) designs, interconnect parasitic effects are increasingly becoming more important. This paper first surveys the state of the art in parasitic extraction for resistance, capacitance, and inductance. The paper then covers other related issues such as interconnect modeling, model order reduction, delay calculation, and signal integrity issues such as crosstalk. Some future trends on parasitic extraction, model reduction and interconnect modeling are discussed and a fairly complete list of references is given View full abstract»

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  • Simulation of high-speed interconnects

    Page(s): 693 - 728
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    With the rapid developments in very large-scale integration (VLSI) technology, design and computer-aided design (CAD) techniques, at both the chip and package level, the operating frequencies are fast reaching the vicinity of gigahertz and switching times are getting to the subnanosecond levels. The ever increasing quest for high-speed applications is placing higher demands on interconnect performance and highlighted the previously negligible effects of interconnects such as ringing, signal delay, distortion, reflections, and crosstalk. In this review paper various high-speed interconnect effects are briefly discussed. In addition, recent advances in transmission line macromodeling techniques are presented. Also, simulation of high-speed interconnects using model-reduction-based algorithms is discussed in detail View full abstract»

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H. Joel Trussell
North Carolina State University