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Proceedings Paper

Switching-noise reduction in clock distribution in mixed-mode VLSI circuits
Author(s): Pilar Parra; Antonio J. Acosta; Manuel Valencia
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Paper Abstract

Digital switching noise is the main source of on-chip noise in mixed-signal ICs. When many digital gates change state together, a large cumulative current spike flows through parasitic resistances and inductances and noise is also injected into the substrate, causing the sensitive analog portions of the design to malfunction. Many solutions have been proposed to alleviate this problem from both the analog and the digital domain. Some current mode families are used in low noise applications, but are strongly unsuited for low power applications, due to its static power consumption. In this paper we propose a set of techniques to reduce the switching noise generated by the digital circuitry, based on classical digital (static CMOS) methodologies at a circuit level. One of the most important sources of switching noise in large VLSI circuits is the clock-driven circuitry and the clock generation and distribution logic. It is well known for the mixed-signal community that harmonics of clock signal are easily injected in the analog part. This paper analyzes how some actuations like the insertion of buffers, the suited placement and routing of the clock tree cells, as well as the suited sizing of devices can save switching noise. In fact different solutions for the clocking logic generate very different results for switching noise. This paper faces the analysis and design of clock generation and distribution logic oriented towards low noise applications. Some illustrative examples will shown the feasibility of the proposed solutions, and some useful design guidelines will be proposed for the community of digital designers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 April 2003
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5117, VLSI Circuits and Systems, (21 April 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.498971
Show Author Affiliations
Pilar Parra, Instituto de Microelectronica de Sevilla-CNM (Spain)
Antonio J. Acosta, Instituto de Microelectronica de Sevilla-CNM (Spain)
Manuel Valencia, Instituto de Microelectronica de Sevilla-CNM (Spain)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5117:
VLSI Circuits and Systems
Jose Fco. Lopez; Juan A. Montiel-Nelson; Dimitris Pavlidis, Editor(s)

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