Improving Computer Scalability & Reliability to Enable Continued Technology Advancement

Jerry Cox, ScD

Two new tools, MetaACE and PublicSync, have been recently introduced by Blendics. Together they are capable of the analysis of many aspects of synchronizer performance. The benchmark circuit, PublicSync, can be simulated by the analysis tool, MetaACE, so that engineers, researchers and students can explore the synchronizer design space using a purposely non-manufacturable process available with the Free Open-Access 45nm Process Design Kit and Standard Cell Library from North Carolina State University. The advantage of this approach is that results can be shared widely without concern for exposing any proprietary information.

Follow-up studies using MetaACE, plus the netlist for your proprietary circuit and your proprietary process design kit, can be compared with the results obtained with the benchmark circuit. This may motivate further investigations including reliability estimates of your production synchronizer design. To illustrate this process we consider the effects of transistor-threshold variability on the reliability of a synchronizer. This is a timely topic since threshold variability has become a safety concern at advanced process nodes. Mitigation of that concern leads to significant challenges in synchronizer design.

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