Journal of Electronic Testing: Theory and Applications (JETTA)

Performance-optimized design for parametric reliability

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Process variations have a significant impact on behavior of integrated circuits (ICs) designed in deep sub-micron (DSM) technologies, and it has been estimated that in some cases up to a generation of performance can be lost due to process variations (Bowman et al., IEEE J Solid State Circuits 37:183-190, 2002), making it a significant problem for design and manufacture of DSM ICs. Adaptive design techniques are fast evolving as a potential solution to this problem. Such techniques facilitate reconfiguration of an IC to enable its operation across process corners, thus ensuring parametric reliability in such ICs, and also improving manufacturing yield. In this paper, adaptive design techniques with a focus on timing of ICs, i.e., performance-optimized adaptive design, are explored. The focus of such performance-optimized adaptive design techniques is to ensure that adaptation does not cause an IC to violate timing specifications, thus giving priority to performance, which remains one of the most important parameters of an IC. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.