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Design and Optimization of Multiple-Mesh Clock Network

Abstract : A clock mesh, in which clock signals are shorted at mesh grid, is less susceptible to on-chip process variation, and so it has widely been studied recently for a clock network of smaller skew. A practical design may require more than one mesh primarily because of hierarchical clock gating architecture; a single mesh, however, can also support the same architecture after some hierarchies are removed but at the cost of gating efficiency. We experimentally compare multiple- and single-mesh using a few test circuits, and show that the former consumes smaller clock power (16.3 %) but exhibits larger clock skew (10.2 ps) and longer clock wirelength (21.7 %). We continue to study how multiple meshes should be floorplanned on the layout, specifically whether or not we allow the overlaps among meshes. The choice is translated into different physical design strategy, and causes different amount of clock skew, critical path delay, clock wirelength, and clock power consumption, which we experimentally evaluate. We give at last the comparison of clock skew variation for each mesh implementation and clock tree, and show that floorplanning of multiple meshes helps to reduce the variation of clock skew.
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Jinwook Jung, Dongsoo Lee, Youngsoo Shin. Design and Optimization of Multiple-Mesh Clock Network. 22th IFIP/IEEE International Conference on Very Large Scale Integration - System on a Chip (VLSI-SoC 2014), Oct 2014, Playa del Carmen, Mexico. pp.39-57, ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-25279-7_3⟩. ⟨hal-01383727⟩

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