20 March 2018 A compact multi-bit flip-flop with smaller height implementation and metal-less intra-cell routing
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Abstract
Multi-bit flip-ops (MBFFs) are widely used in modern circuit designs because of their lower power consumption and smaller footprint. However, conventional MBFFs have routability issues due to the dense intra-cell connections. Since many horizontal connections are populated in the typical MBFF layouts, metal-2 (M2) tracks are highly occupied inside the cell. Accordingly, routers cannot leverage the M2 tracks for inter-cell connections. The conventional MBFFs also show a limited impact on the cell area reduction. Since the cell area saving of an MBFF mainly comes from the clock driver sharing, the layouts of other ip-op modules remain almost the same. In this paper, we propose a compact MBFF with metal-less clock routing and smaller height implementation. To achieve a sparse population of M2 routing tracks, we vertically place MBFF modules and interconnect them using the poly layer. As a result, the wire length of M2 layer inside a cell is significantly reduced. We also propose the smaller cell height implementation for compact MBFF layouts. Assuming the default standard cell height of 9 tracks, we present a 6-track MBFF implementation and the glue logic which makes legal cell placement with the 9-track logic cells. Experiments with a few test circuits show that the number of routing grids having congestion overflow is reduced by 16% and 73%, on average, compared to the single-bit flip-op and conventional MBFF based designs, respectively. Total cell area is also reduced by 8% and 2%, on average, compared to the single-bit flip-op and conventional MBFF based designs, respectively.
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Jaewoo Seo, Jinwook Jung, Youngsoo Shin, "A compact multi-bit flip-flop with smaller height implementation and metal-less intra-cell routing", Proc. SPIE 10588, Design-Process-Technology Co-optimization for Manufacturability XII, 105880A (20 March 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2297519; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2297519
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