RazorProtector: Maintaining Razor DVS Efficiency in Large IR-Drop Zones by an Adaptive Redundant Data-Path

Yukihiro SASAGAWA  Jun YAO  Takashi NAKADA  Yasuhiko NAKASHIMA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences   Vol.E95-A   No.12   pp.2319-2329
Publication Date: 2012/12/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1337
DOI: 10.1587/transfun.E95.A.2319
Print ISSN: 0916-8508
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on VLSI Design and CAD Algorithms)
Category: Logic Synthesis, Test and Verification
adaptive redundancy,  setup error recovery,  DVS,  low power,  AVF,  

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Recently, the DVS (Dynamic Voltage Scaling) method has been aggressively applied to processors with Razor Flip-Flops. With Razor FF detecting setup errors, the supply voltage in these processors is down-scaled to a near critical setup timing level for a maximum power consumption reduction. However, the conventional Razor and DVS combinations cannot tolerate well error rate variations caused by IR-drops and environment changes. At the near critical setup timing point, even a small error rate change will result in sharp performance degradation. In this paper, we propose RazorProtector, a DVS application method based on a redundant data-path which uses a multi-cycle redundant calculation to shorten the recovery penalty after a setup error occurrence. A dynamic redundancy-adapting scheme is also given to use effectively the designed redundant data-path based on a study of the program, device and error rate characteristics. Our results show that RazorProtector with the adaptive redundancy architecture can, compared to the traditional DVS method with Razor FF, under a large setup rate caused by a 10% unwanted voltage drop, reduce EDP up to 78% at 100 µs/V, 88% at 200 µs/V voltage scaling slope.