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EE 587 SoC Design & Test

EE 587 SoC Design & Test

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EE 587 SoC Design & Test

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  1. EE 587SoC Design & Test Partha Pande School of EECS Washington State University

  2. SoC Physical Design Issues Power and Clock Distribution

  3. Overview • Reading • HJS - Chapter 11 Power Grid and Clock Design • For background information refer to chapter 5 of the text book

  4. Purpose of Power Distribution • Goal of power distribution system is to deliver the required current across the chip while maintaining the voltage levels necessary for proper operation of logic circuits • Must route both power and ground to all gates • Design Challenges: • How many power and ground pins should we allocate? • Which layers of metal should be used to route power/ground? • How wide should be make the wire to minimize voltage drops and reliability problems • How do we maintain VDD and Gnd within noise budget? • How do we verify overall power distribution system?

  5. Design Example • Target Impedance of the power grid • For a supply voltage of 1.2 V and a supply current of 100 A, with a 10 % noise budget the power grid impedance can be 1.2 mΩ

  6. < Vdd Vdd n4 n3 < Vdd n2 n1 n8 n5 n6 n7 Power Distribution Issues - IR Drop • Narrow line widths increase metal line resistance • As current flows through power grid, voltage drops occur • Actual voltage supplied to transistors is less than Vdd • Impacts speed and functionality • Need to choose wire widths to handle current demands of each segment

  7. Block Interaction yields IR Drop Plots courtesy of Simplex Solutions, Inc.

  8. Power Grid Issues – Static IR Drop • Block placement and global power routing determines IR drop on the chip • Possible solutions • Rearrange blocks • More Vdd pins • Connect bottom portion of grid to top portion Plot courtesy of Simplex Solutions, Inc.

  9. Power Grid Issues – Static IR Drop • If we connect bottom portion of grid to top portion, the IR drop is reduced significantly • However, this is only one part of the problem • We must also examine electromigration Plot courtesy of Simplex Solutions, Inc.

  10. Power Grid Issues - Electromigration • As current flows down narrow wires, metal begins to migrate • Metal lines break over time due to metal fatigue • Based on average/peak current density • Need to widen wires enough to avoid this phenomenon n4 n3 n2 n1 n8 n5 n6 n7

  11. Case Study – IR and EM Tradeoff

  12. Ldi/dt Effects in the Power Supply • In addition to IR drop, power system inductance is also an issue • Inductance may be due to power pin, power bump or power grid • Overall voltage drop is: Vdrop = IR + Ldi/dt • Distribute decoupling capacitors (decaps) liberally throughout design • Capacitors store up charge • Can provide instantaneous source of current for switching

  13. On-chip Decoupling Caps • On-chip decaps help to stabilize the power grid voltage • First line of defense against noise which can extend beyond 10GHz • Simple Example: • Drop across inductors = 2 x L x di/dt = 2 x 0.2nH x 20mA/100ps = 80mV (problematic if supply is 1.2V) • Actual power pad or bump may need to support thousands of inverters • Use capacitors to supply instantaneous charge to inverters

  14. Making a Decoupling Cap • Decaps are basically NMOS transistors. Top plate is polysilicon, bottom-plate is inverted channel, insulator is gate oxide. • Connect poly to Vdd and source/drain to Vss • Low-frequency capacitance is roughly COX W L. • Since these are large capacitance to be used at high frequencies, more accurate representation is needed

  15. How much Decoupling Cap? • To estimate required decap value, run SPICE on patch of chip area with power grid, part of logic block, and sprinkle of decaps • Amount of decap depends on: • Acceptable ripple on Vdd-Vss (typically 10% noise budget) • Switching activity of logic circuits (usually need 10X switched cap) • Current provided by power grid (di/dt) • Required frequency response (high frequency operation) • How much decap exists ( non-switching diffusion, gate, wire caps)

  16. Plot center region of grid Local Vdd-Vss in worst-case location in patch (center) First dip can be dealt with by a low-frequency on-chip voltage regulator and low-frequency decaps Steady-state ripple is controlled by high-frequency decoupling caps Adjust location of decaps until the ripple is within noise budget Simulation with Decoupling Caps

  17. Designing Power Distribution • Floorplanner should be aware of IR+Ldi/dt drop and EM problems and design accordingly • Requires knowledge of current distributions and voltage drop constraints of blocks being placed • Provide adequate number of VDD and Gnd pins • Route power distribution system according to current demands of the blocks • Widen wires based on expected current density in branches • Distribute decoupling capacitors liberally throughout design • Verify full chip with IR/EM tools

  18. Reducing the Effects of IR drop and Ldi/dt • Stagger the firing of buffers (bad idea: increases skew) • Use different power grid tap points for clock buffers (but it makes routing more complicated for automated tools) • Use smaller buffers (but it degrades edge rates/increases delay) • Make power busses wider (requires area but should do it) • Use more Vdd/Vss pins; adjust locations of Vdd/Vss pins • Put in power straps where needed to deliver current • Place decoupling capacitors wherever there is free space • Integrate decoupling capacitors into buffer cells These caps act as decoupling caps when they are not switching

  19. Power Routing Examples Block A Block B Block A Block B Single Trunk Multiple Trunks

  20. Simple Routing Examples Block A Block B Block A Block B Double-Ended Connections Wider Trunks

  21. Interleaved Power/Ground Routing Interleaved Vdd/Vss

  22. Flip-Flop and Clock Design • Flip-flops and latches are used to gate signals in sequential logic designs. • The critical parameters of setup and hold times • Clock design is also a complex issue in DSM due to RC delay components in the interconnect and the power dissipation. • We will look at clock trees, H-trees and clock grids. • An overall examination of the issues of clocks skew, IR drop and signal integrity, and how to manage them using circuit techniques. • Let’s start by revisiting the expected limits of clock speed

  23. Clocked D Flip-flop • Very useful FF • Widely used in IC design for temporary storage of data • May be edge-triggered (Flip-flop) or level-sensitive(transparent latch) D Qn+1 0 0 1 1 data output D Q Clk Q CK

  24. Latch vs. Flip-flop • Latch (level-sensitive, transparent) • When the clock is high it passes In value to Out • When the clock is low, it holds value that In had when the clock fell • Flip-Flop (edge-triggered, non transparent) • On the rising edge of clock (pos-edge trig), it transfers the value of In to Out • It holds the value at all other times. CLK CLK

  25. Alternative View • Clocks serve to slow down signals that are too fast • Flip-flops / latches act as barriers • With a latch, a signal can propagate through while the clock is high • With a Flip-flop, the signal only propagates through on the rising edge • Flip-flops consist of two latch like elements (master and slave latch)

  26. Clocking Overhead FF and Latches have setup and hold times that must be satisfied: will work won’t work Latch Flip Flop may work D in D in T setup T Clk Clk T hold hold Qout Qout T T + T d-q setup clk-q If Din arrives before setup time and is stable after the hold time, FF will work; if Din arrives after hold time, it will fail; in between, it may or may not work; FF delays the slowest signal by the setup + clk-q delay in the worst case Latch has small setup and hold times; but it delays the late arriving signals by Td-q

  27. F F Logic l l o o p p T d T = T +T + T + T cycle d setup clk-q skew Early Late T d=0 F F l l o o p p when T + T > T skew hold clk-q Early Late Clock Skew • Not all clocks arrive at the same time, i.e., they may be skewed. • SKEW = mismatch in the delays between arrival times of clock edges at FF’s • SKEW causes two problems: Tclk-q Tsetup Fix critical path • The cycle time gets longer by the skew Shows up as a SETUP time violation • The part can get the wrong answer Insert buffer Delay elements Shows up as a HOLD time violation

  28. Overhead for a Clock • CMOS FO4 delay is roughly 425ps/um x Leff • For 0.13um, FO4 delay ≈ 40 - 50ps • For a 1GHz clock, this allows < 20 FO4 gate delays/cycle • Clock overhead (including margins for setup/hold) • 2 FF/Latches cost about 2-3 FO4 delays • skew costs approximately 2-3 FO4 delays • Overhead of clock is roughly 4-6 FO4 delays • 14-16 FO4 delays left to work with for logic • Need to reduce skew and FF cost Tcycle Skew Tclk-q Tlogic CLOCK

  29. Signal Integrity Issues at FF’s • What happens if a glitch occurs in a clock signal? • Flip-flop captures and propagates incorrect data • Could view any signal that, if glitched, could cause a logic upset as a “clock” signal • Need to space out clocks/signals or shield them Positive-Edge Triggered Flip-Flop D Q Clk Clk

  30. Signal Integrity Issues at FF’s • What happens if a glitch occurs in data signal? • Flip-flop captures and propagates incorrect data • Need to insure that data signal is stable during FF setup time • Shielding with stable signals or spacing is needed Positive-Edge Triggered Flip-Flop D Q Clk Clk

  31. Sources of Clock Skew Main sources: 1. Imbalance between different paths from clock source to FF’s • interconnect length determines RC delays • capacitive coupling effects cause delay variations • buffer sizing • number of loads driven 2. Process variations across die • interconnect and devices have different statistical variations Secondary Sources: 1. IR drop in power supply 2. Ldi/dt drop in supply

  32. IR Drop Impacts on Clock Skew Ideal Vdd - Low delay - Low skew Skew Conservative Vdd - High delay - Low skew Delay (latency) Actual IR drop impact - delay about 5-15% larger - skew about 25-30% larger

  33. Power dissipation in Clocks • Significant power dissipation can occur in clocks in high-performance designs: • clock switches on every cycle so P= CV2f (i.e., a=1) • clock capacitance can be ~nF range, say 1nF = 1000pF • assuming a power supply of 1.8V, CV = 1800pC of charge • if clock switches every 2ns (500MHz), that’s 0.9A • for VDD = 1.8V, P=IV=0.9(1.8)=1.6W in the clock circuit alone • Much of the power (and the skew) occurs in the final drivers due to the sizing up of buffers to drive the flip-flops • Key to reducing the power is to examine equation CV2f and reduce the terms wherever possible • VDD is usually given to us; would not want to reduce swing due to coupling noise, etc. • Look more closely at C and f

  34. Reducing Power in Clocking • Gated Clocks: • can gate clock signals through AND gate before applying to flip-flop; this is more of a total chip power savings • all clock trees should have the same type of gating whether they are used or not, and at the same level - total balance • Reduce overall capacitance (again, shielding vs. spacing) (a) higher total cap./less area (b) lower cap./ more area • Tradeoff between the two approaches due to coupling noise • approach (a) is better for inductive noise; (b) is better for capacitive noise Signal 1 clock Signal 2 shield clock shield

  35. Clock Design Objectives • Now that we understand the role of the clock and some of the key issues, how do we design it? • Minimize the clock skew (in presence of IR drop) • Minimize the clock delay (latency) • Minimize the clock power (and area) • Maximize noise immunity (due to coupling effects) • Maximize the clock reliability (signal EM) • Problems that we will have to deal with • Routing the clock to all flip-flops on the chip • Driving unbalanced loading, which will not be known until the chip is nearly completed • On-chip process/temperature variations

  36. Clock Design • Minimal area cost • Requires clock-tree management • Use a large superbuffer to drive downstream buffers • Balancing may be an issue Tree Secondary clock drivers Multi-stage clock tree Main clock driver

  37. Clock Configurations H-Tree • Place clock root at center of chip and distribute as an H structure to all areas of the chip • Clock is delayed by an equal amount to every section of the chip • Local skew inside blocks is kept within tolerable limits

  38. Clock Configurations Grid • Greater area cost • Easier skew control • Increased power consumption • Electromigration risk increased at drivers • Severely restricts floorplan and routing

  39. Clock Design and Verification • Many design styles • Low-speed designs: regular signals, symmetric tree • Medium-speed designs: balanced H-tree • High-speed designs • Balanced buffered H-tree • Grid • Clock verification is more complex in DSM • RC Interconnect delays • Signal integrity (capacitive coupling, inductance) • IR drop • Signal Electromigration • Clock Jitter • time-domain variation of a given clock signal due to random noise, IR drop, temperature, etc. Jitter Clock edge

  40. Clock Design Today • Route clock • Route rest of nets • Extract clock parasitics • Perform timing verification • Balance clock by “snaking” route in reserved areas Old methodology Advanced Clock Verification • IR Drop and Ldi/dt effects • Coupling capacitance • Electromigration checks • Full-chip skew/slew analysis • Jitter analysis • Inductance Effects • Process variations

  41. Good Practices in Clock Design • Try to achieve the lowest Latency (Super Buffer/H-tree) • Control transition times (keep edge rates sharp) • Use 1 type of clock buffer for good matching (except perhaps in the last leg where you need to have adjustable buffers) • Have min/max line lengths for good matching • Determine whether spacing or shielding provides better tradeoff • Use integral decoupling in buffers to reduce IR and Ldi/dt