An Error Resilient Design Platform for Aggressively Reducing Power, Area and Routing Congestion

Tung-Liang Lin and Sao-Jie Chen
Graduate Institute of Electronics Engineering, National Taiwan University


In the traditional implementation methodology, a range of target voltage levels as defined in the Unified Power Format (UPF) together with the regular timing constraints during the timing and area optimization stages of RTL-to-gate mapping. However, this approach usually requires stronger-driving-strength and bigger-size combinational and sequential standard cell mapping for maintaining the degraded performance caused by lower supply voltage. In this paper, an innovative power-saving design platform, using an analysis flow that effectively integrates the following methodologies, was proposed: (1) path retiming, slack redistribution, and modified razor insertions; (2) customized vector-free approaches and the automation procedures of generating corresponding and randomized stimulus for early-stage static and dynamic voltage-aware power analysis; and (3) precise prediction via Design Dependent Critical Path Monitor (DDCPM) for avoiding the happening of unexpected timing violations caused by the aggressive scaling of supply voltage during the fine-grained DVFS. Accordingly, not only dramatic reductions of power consumption and chip area but the serious routing congestion issues often happened in a design with high occupation of long-depth critical timing paths could also be effectively alleviated. One of our experimental results in TSMC 55nm process node shows the maximum power and area reduction is 62.7% and 29.1%, respectively.