Publication
IEEE TAS
Paper

Towards 32-bit energy-efficient superconductor RQL processors: The cell-level design and analysis of key processing and on-chip storage units

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Abstract

New superconductor single flux quantum logics with no static power dissipation in bias resistors, such as Reciprocal Quantum Logic (RQL), offer opportunities to create energy-efficient superconductor processors operating at high frequencies with ultra-low power consumption. This paper discusses the results of our work on the cell-level design and analysis of a benchmark set of 32-/64-bit RQL processor integer and floating-point units such as adders, multipliers, an arithmetic-logic unit, and an array shifter, as well as small 1-4 Kbit RQL on-chip storage components such as register files, on-chip memory, and the top level caches. Our layout-aware design process includes the complete cell-level design and approximate physical layout of the circuits followed by the VHDL simulation, verification, and energy profiling using our RQL VHDL cell library tuned to the future MIT Lincoln Laboratory 10 kA/cm2 248 nm process with 10 Nb metal layers and the minimum JJ critical current of 38 μA. Our designs have the energy efficiency of ∼1.0 single-precision TFLOPS/W and ∼0.5 double-precision TFLOPS/W for floating-point units, and ∼1-24 TOPS/W for 32-bit integer units at room temperature using the cryocooling efficiency of 0.1% (1000 W/W). The 1-4 Kbit 32-/64-bit multi-ported scratchpad memory, register files, write-through and write-back caches designed with RQL Non-Destructive Read-Out storage cells have the average energy consumption of 3.0-9.5 fJ/bit/operation at room temperature using the cryocooling efficiency of 0.1%. While these results are very promising, more work is needed to evaluate the contribution of the energy costs of instruction scheduling and off-chip main memory access to the energy efficiency of RQL computing across a whole system.

Date

01 Jun 2015

Publication

IEEE TAS

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