Other affiliations: University of Southern California, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University
Bio: Farzan Fallah is an academic researcher from Fujitsu. The author has contributed to research in topics: CMOS & Leakage (electronics). The author has an hindex of 25, co-authored 75 publications receiving 2200 citations. Previous affiliations of Farzan Fallah include University of Southern California & Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Papers published on a yearly basis
TL;DR: Two runtime mechanisms for reducing the leakage current of a CMOS circuit are described and a design technique for applying the minimum leakage input to a sequential circuit is presented, which shows that it is possible to reduce the leakage by an average of 25% with practically no delay penalty.
Abstract: The first part of this paper describes two runtime mechanisms for reducing the leakage current of a CMOS circuit. In both cases, it is assumed that the system or environment produces a "sleep" signal that can be used to indicate that the circuit is in a standby mode. In the first method, the "sleep" signal is used to shift in a new set of external inputs and pre-selected internal signals into the circuit with the goal of setting the logic values of all of the internal signals so as to minimize the total leakage current in the circuit. This minimization is possible because the leakage current of a CMOS gate is strongly dependent on the input combination applied to its inputs. In the second method, nMOS and pMOS transistors are added to some of the gates in the circuit to increase the controllability of the internal signals of the circuit and decrease the leakage current of the gates using the "stack effect". This is, however, done carefully so that the minimum leakage is achieved subject to a delay constraint for all input-output paths in the circuit. In both cases, Boolean satisfiability is used to formulate the problems, which are subsequently solved by employing a highly efficient SAT solver. Experimental results on the combinational circuits in the MCNC91 benchmark suite demonstrate that it is possible to reduce the leakage current in combinational circuits by an average of 25% with only a 5% delay penalty. The second part of this paper presents a design technique for applying the minimum leakage input to a sequential circuit. The proposed method uses the built-in scan-chains in a VLSI circuit to drive it with the minimum leakage vector when it enters the sleep mode. The use of these scan registers eliminates the area and delay overhead of the additional circuitry that would otherwise be needed to apply the minimum leakage vector to the circuit. Experimental results on the sequential circuits in the MCNC91 benchmark suit show that, by using the proposed method, it is possible to reduce the leakage by an average of 25% with practically no delay penalty.
TL;DR: Circuit optimization and design automation techniques are introduced to bring leakage under control in CMOS circuits and present techniques for active leakage control.
Abstract: In many new high performance designs, the leakage component of power consumption is comparable to the switching component. Reports indicate that 40% or even higher percentage of the total power consumption is due to the leakage of transistors. This percentage will increase with technology scaling unless effective techniques are introduced to bring leakage under control. This article focuses on circuit optimization and design automation techniques to accomplish this goal. The first part of the article provides an overview of basic physics and process scaling trends that have resulted in a significant increase in the leakage currents in CMOS circuits. This part also distinguishes between the standby and active components of the leakage current. The second part of the article describes a number of circuit optimization techniques for controlling the standby leakage current, including power gating and body bias control. The third part of the article presents techniques for active leakage control, including use of multiple-threshold cells, long channel devices, input vector design, transistor stacking to switching noise, and sizing with simultaneous threshold and supply voltage assignment.
01 Jun 1999
TL;DR: The contribution of this work is the development of a vector generation procedure targeting the observability-based statement coverage metric, and a novel technique to set up constraints based on the chosen coverage metric for vector generation.
Abstract: Validation of RTL circuits remains the primary bottleneck in improving design turnaround time, and simulation remains the primary methodology for validation. Simulation-based validation has suffered from a disconnect between the metrics used to measure the error coverage of a set of simulation vectors, and the vector generation process. This disconnect has resulted in the simulation of virtually endless streams of vectors which achieve enhanced error coverage only infrequently. Another drawback has been that most error coverage metrics proposed have either been too simplistic or too inefficient to compute. Recently, an effective observability-based statement coverage metric was proposed along with a fast companion procedure for evaluating it. The contribution of our work is the development of a vector generation procedure targeting the observability-based statement coverage metric. Our method uses repeated coverage computation to minimize the number of vectors generated. For vector generation, we propose a novel technique to set up constraints based on the chosen coverage metric. Once the system of interacting arithmetic and Boolean constraints has been set up, it can be solved using hybrid linear programming and Boolean satisfiability methods. We present heuristics to control the size of the constraint system that needs to be solved. We present experimental results which show the viability of automatically generating vectors using our approach for industrial RTL circuits. We envision our system being used during the design process, as well as during post-design debugging.
01 May 1998
TL;DR: This paper provides the details of an efficient method to compute an Observability-based Code COverage Metric (OCCOM) that can be used while simulating complex HDL designs and offers a more accurate assessment of design verification coverage than line coverage.
Abstract: Functional simulation is still the primary workhorse for verifying the functional correctness of hardware designs. Functional verification is necessarily incomplete because it is not computationally feasible to exhaustively simulate designs. It is important therefore to quantitatively measure the degree of verification coverage of the design. Coverage metrics proposed for measuring the extent of design verification provided by a set of functional simulation vectors should compute statement execution counts (controllability information), and check to see whether effects of possible errors activated by program stimuli can be observed at the circuit outputs (observability information). Unfortunately, the metrics proposed thus far, either do not compute both types of information, or are inefficient, i.e., the overhead of computing the metric is very large. In this paper, we provide the details of an efficient method to compute an Observability-based Code COverage Metric (OCCOM) that can be used while simulating complex HDL designs. This method offers a more accurate assessment of design verification coverage than line coverage, and is significantly more computationally efficient than prior efforts to assess observability Information because it breaks up the computation into two phases: Functional simulation of a modified HDL model, followed by analysis of a flowgraph extracted from the HDL model. Commercial HDL simulators can be directly used for the time-consuming first phase, and the second phase can be performed efficiently using concurrent evaluation techniques.
••01 May 1998
TL;DR: This work presents a new HDL-satisfiability checking algorithm that works directly on the HDL model, and the primary feature of this algorithm is a seamless integration of linear-programming techniques for feasibility checking of arithmetic equations that govern the behavior of datapath modules, and 3-SAT checking for logic equations that governs the behaviorof control modules.
Abstract: Our strategy for automatic generation of functional vectors is based on exercising selected paths in the given hardware description language (HDL) model. The HDL model describes interconnections of arithmetic, logic and memory modules. Given a path in the HDL model, the search for input stimuli that exercise the path can be converted into a standard satisfiability checking problem by expanding the arithmetic modules into logic-gates. However, this approach is not very efficient. We present a new HDL-satisfiability checking algorithm that works directly on the HDL model. The primary feature of our algorithm is a seamless integration of linear-programming techniques for feasibility checking of arithmetic equations that govern the behavior of datapath modules, and 3-SAT checking for logic equations that govern the behavior of control modules. This feature is critically important to efficiency, since it avoids module expansion and allows us to work with logic and arithmetic equations whose cardinality tracks the size of the HDL model. We describe the details of the HDL-satisfiability checking algorithm in this paper. Experimental results which show significant speedups over state-of-the-art gate-level satisfiability checking methods are included.
20 Sep 2004
TL;DR: An overview of the main design concepts of SCIP and how it can be used to solve constraint integer programs is given and experimental results show that the approach outperforms current state-of-the-art techniques for proving the validity of properties on circuits containing arithmetic.
Abstract: Constraint integer programming (CIP) is a novel paradigm which integrates constraint programming (CP), mixed integer programming (MIP), and satisfiability (SAT) modeling and solving techniques. In this paper we discuss the software framework and solver SCIP (Solving Constraint Integer Programs), which is free for academic and non-commercial use and can be downloaded in source code. This paper gives an overview of the main design concepts of SCIP and how it can be used to solve constraint integer programs. To illustrate the performance and flexibility of SCIP, we apply it to two different problem classes. First, we consider mixed integer programming and show by computational experiments that SCIP is almost competitive to specialized commercial MIP solvers, even though SCIP supports the more general constraint integer programming paradigm. We develop new ingredients that improve current MIP solving technology. As a second application, we employ SCIP to solve chip design verification problems as they arise in the logic design of integrated circuits. This application goes far beyond traditional MIP solving, as it includes several highly non-linear constraints, which can be handled nicely within the constraint integer programming framework. We show anecdotally how the different solving techniques from MIP, CP, and SAT work together inside SCIP to deal with such constraint classes. Finally, experimental results show that our approach outperforms current state-of-the-art techniques for proving the validity of properties on circuits containing arithmetic.
01 Jan 1982
TL;DR: In this article, the authors propose a suite of RT-level benchmarks that help improve research in high-level ATPG tools, such as testability evaluation of circuits and the evaluation of testability of circuits.
Abstract: New design flows require reducing work at the gate level and performing most activities before the synthesis step, including evaluation of testability of circuits. We propose a suite of RT-level benchmarks that help improve research in high-level ATPG tools. First results on the benchmarks obtained with our prototype tool show the feasibility of the approach.
TL;DR: In this paper, a critical review of traditional and emerging cooling methods as well as coolants for electronics is provided, summarizing traditional coolants, heat transfer properties and performances of potential new coolants such as nanofluids are also reviewed and analyzed.
Abstract: Continued miniaturization and demand for high-end performance of electronic devices and appliances have led to dramatic increase in their heat flux generation. Consequently, conventional coolants and cooling approaches are increasingly falling short in meeting the ever-increasing cooling needs and challenges of those high heat generating electronic devices. This study provides a critical review of traditional and emerging cooling methods as well as coolants for electronics. In addition to summarizing traditional coolants, heat transfer properties and performances of potential new coolants such as nanofluids are also reviewed and analyzed. With superior thermal properties and numerous benefits nanofluids show great promises in fulfilling the cooling demands of high heat generating electronic devices. It is believed that applications of such novel coolants in emerging techniques like micro-channels and micro-heat pipes can revolutionize cooling technologies for electronics in the future.