Variability-Aware Design of Subthreshold Devices
Jaramillo Ramirez, Rodrigo
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Over the last 10 years, digital subthreshold logic circuits have been developed for applications in the ultra-low power design domain, where performance is not the priority. Recently, devices optimized for subthreshold operation have been introduced as potential construction blocks. However, for these devices, a strong sensitivity to process variations is expected due to the exponential relationship of the subthreshold drive current and the threshold voltage. In this thesis, a yield optimization technique is proposed to suppress the variability of a device optimized for subthreshold operation. The goal of this technique is to construct and inscribe a maximum yield cube in the 3-D feasible region composed of oxide thickness, gate length, and channel doping concentration. The center of this cube is chosen as the maximum yield design point with the highest immunity against variations. By using the technique, a transistor is optimized for subthreshold operation in terms of the desired total leakage current and intrinsic delay bounds. To develop the concept of the technique, sample devices are designed for 90nm and 65nm technologies. Monte Carlo simulations verify the accuracy of the technique for meeting power and delay constraints under technology-specific variances of the design parameters of the device.