IMPACT OF DYNAMIC VOLTAGE SCALING (DVS) ON CIRCUIT OPTIMIZATION
Esquit Hernandez, Carlos A.
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Circuit designers perform optimization procedures targeting speed and power during the design of a circuit. Gate sizing can be applied to optimize for speed, while Dual-VT and Dynamic Voltage Scaling (DVS) can be applied to optimize for leakage and dynamic power, respectively. Both gate sizing and Dual-VT are design-time techniques, which are applied to the circuit at a fixed voltage. On the other hand, DVS is a run-time technique and implies that the circuit will be operating at a different voltage than that used during the optimization phase at design-time. After some analysis, the risk of non-critical paths becoming critical paths at run-time is detected under these circumstances. The following questions arise: 1) should we take DVS into account during the optimization phase? 2) Does DVS impose any restrictions while performing design-time circuit optimizations?. This thesis is a case study of applying DVS to a circuit that has been optimized for speed and power, and aims at answering the previous two questions. We used a 45-nm CMOS design kit and flow. Synthesis, placement and routing, and timing analysis were applied to the benchmark circuit ISCAS?85 c432. Logical Effort and Dual-VT algorithms were implemented and applied to the circuit to optimize for speed and leakage power, respectively. Optimizations were run for the circuit operating at different voltages. Finally, the impact of DVS on circuit optimization was studied based on HSPICE simulations sweeping the supply voltage for each optimization. The results showed that DVS had no impact on gate sizing optimizations, but it did on Dual-VT optimizations. It is shown that we should not optimize at an arbitrary voltage. Moreover, simulations showed that Dual-VT optimizations should be performed at the lowest voltage that DVS is intended to operate, otherwise non-critical paths will become critical paths at run-time.