IBM J. Res. Dev

IBM z13 circuit design and methodology

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The two chips at the heart of the IBM z13™ system include a processor chip (referred to as the CP or Central Processor chip) and an L4 (Level 4) cache chip (referred to as the SC or System Controller chip), each 678 mm <sup>2</sup> in area. The CP and SC chips were implemented with approximately 4 billion (4 × 10<sup>9</sup>) and 7.1 billion transistors, respectively, in IBM's 22-nm SOI (silicon-on-insulator) technology, supporting eDRAM (embedded dynamic random access memory), and with up to 17 levels of metal available. In this paper, we discuss aspects of the circuit and physical design of these chips, including both digital logic and custom array implementation. In addition, we describe the design analysis methodology, along with some of the checks needed to ensure a robust, reliable, and high-frequency product.