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Title: Advanced modelling and design considerations for interconnects in ultra- low power digital system
Authors: Al-Daloo, Mohammed Issa Tawfeeq
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: As Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) is progressing in very Deep submicron (DSM) regime without decreasing chip area, the importance of global interconnects increases but at the cost of performance and power consumption for advanced System-on- Chip (SoC)s. However, the growing complexity of interconnects behaviour presents a challenge for their adequate modelling, whereby conventional circuit theoretic approaches cannot provide sufficient accuracy. During the last decades, fractional differential calculus has been successfully applied to modelling certain classes of dynamical systems while keeping complexity of the models under acceptable bounds. For example, fractional calculus can help capturing inherent physical effects in electrical networks in a compact form, without following conventional assumptions about linearization of non-linear interconnect components. This thesis tackles the problem of interconnect modelling in its generality to simulate a wide range of interconnection configurations, its capacity to emulate irregular circuit elements and its simplicity in the form of responsible approximation. This includes modelling and analysing interconnections considering their irregular components to add more flexibility and freedom for design. The aim is to achieve the simplest adaptable model with the highest possible accuracy. Thus, the proposed model can be used for fast computer simulation of interconnection behaviour. In addition, this thesis proposes a low power circuit for driving a global interconnect at voltages close to the noise level. As a result, the proposed circuit demonstrates a promising solution to address the energy and performance issues related to scaling effects on interconnects along with soft errors that can be caused by neutron particles. The major contributions of this thesis are twofold. Firstly, in order to address Ultra-Low Power (ULP) design limitations, a novel driver scheme has been configured. This scheme uses a bootstrap circuitry which boosts the driver’s ability to drive a long interconnect with an important feedback feature in it. Hence, this approach achieves two objectives: improving performance and mitigating power consumption. Those achievements are essential in designing ULP circuits along with occupying a smaller footprint and being immune to noise, observed in this design as well. These have been verified by comparing the proposed design to the previous and traditional circuits using a simulation tool. Additionally, the boosting based approach has been shown beneficial in mitigating the effects of single event upset (SEU)s, which are known to affect DSM circuits working under low voltages. Secondly, the CMOS circuit driving a distributed RLC load has been brought in its analysis into the fractional order domain. This model will make the on-chip interconnect structure easy to adjust by including the effect of fractional orders on the interconnect timing, which has not been considered before. A second-order model for the transfer functions of the proposed general structure is derived, keeping the complexity associated with second-order models for this class of circuits at a minimum. The approach here attaches an important trait of robustness to the circuit design procedure; namely, by simply adjusting the fractional order we can avoid modifying the circuit components. This can also be used to optimise the estimation of the system’s delay for a broad range of frequencies, particularly at the beginning of the design flow, when computational speed is of paramount importance.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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