98. A TUNABLE SENSOR FOR ADAPTIVE VOLTAGE SCALING

Department: Electrical & Computer Engineering
Faculty Advisor(s): Andrew B. Kahng

Primary Student
Name: Tuck Boon Chan
Email: tbchan@ucsd.edu
Phone: 858-822-5003
Grad Year: 2014

Abstract
VLSI circuits usually allocate excess margin to account for worst-case process variation. Since most chips are fabricated at process conditions better than the worst-case corner, adaptive voltage scaling (AVS) is commonly used to reduce power consumption whenever possible. A typical AVS setup relies on a performance monitor that replicates critical paths of the circuit to guide voltage scaling. However, it is difficult to define appropriate critical paths for a SoC which has multiple operating modes and IPs. In this paper, we propose a tunable circuit for process-aware voltage scaling. The tunable circuit is intended to match voltage scaling characteristics of a circuit instead of critical paths. Therefore, it is more flexible and can be used for a systematic characterization flow that allows fine tuning over different design stages (e.g., circuit design, manufacturing, product development, etc.) as well as during product deployment.

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