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Exploration and Design of Low-Energy Logic Cells for 1 kHz Always-on Systems

Boekbijdrage - Boekhoofdstuk Conferentiebijdrage

© 2019 EDAA. A standard cell library targeting always-on operation at 1 kHz is designed at circuit-level. This paper proposes a design methodology to achieve robust operation with minimum energy. Such minimum energy per operation for always-on systems is achieved by one specific supply and threshold voltage VTh combination. As VTh is discrete in a practical bulk technology, this minimum can however not be achieved through simple voltage tuning. In the considered 90 nm CMOS technology, VTh is too low resulting in leakage dominated systems and preventing from attaining the minimum energy point in subthreshold. Three circuit techniques are optimally combined to fight leakage: stacking, reverse body biasing and optimal transistor dimensioning relying on second order effects of the dimensions on VTh. They jointly allow logic gates to achieve the best balance between dynamic and leakage power. Moreover, the paper presents modified flip-flop topologies that also reliably operate at 0.27 V along with the gates. Benefits of improved logic gates and flip-flops are demonstrated on a small always-on feature-extraction system calculating running average and variance on a 1 Ksample/s data stream. The resulting system consumes 162 pW in simulation, or two orders of magnitude less when compared to a commercial library at its 1 V nominal voltage, or 1 order of magnitude less when compared to the commercial library at the same 0.27 V operating voltage.
Boek: Proceedings of the 2019 Design, Automation & Test in Europe Conference & Exhibition (DATE
Pagina's: 1697 - 1702
Aantal pagina's: 6
ISBN:978-3-9819263-2-3
Jaar van publicatie:2019