Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period

12-11-2015

Degree Program

Electrical & Computer Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded

2015

Month Degree Awarded

February

Advisor Name

Csaba

Advisor Middle Initial

Andras

Advisor Last Name

Moritz

Abstract

With the scaling of technology nodes, modern CMOS integrated circuits face severe fundamental challenges that stem from device scaling limitations, interconnection bottlenecks and increasing manufacturing complexities. These challenges drive researchers to look for revolutionary technologies beyond the end of CMOS roadmap. Towards this end, a new nanoscale 3-D computing fabric for future integrated circuits, Skybridge, has been proposed [1]. In this new fabric, core aspects from device to circuit style, connectivity, thermal management and manufacturing pathway are co-architected in a 3-D fabric-centric manner.

However, the Skybridge fabric uses only n-type transistors in a dynamic circuit style for logic and memory implementations. Therefore, it requires complicated clocking schemes to overcome signal monotonicity associated with cascading dynamic logic gates. For Skybridge’s large-scale circuits, the dynamic circuit style requires cascaded stages to be micro-pipelined, which results in large number of buffers used for storing minterms causing significant overhead in terms of area and power. Moreover, implementation of logic is limited to NAND or AND-of-NAND based logic expressions, which does not always result in compact circuits. In this work, we propose an extension of original Skybridge fabric, called NP-Dynamic-Skybridge, to solve these challenges by using both n-and p-type transistors in an innovative circuit style. Here, every stage in a given circuit is implemented by either n-type or p-type dynamic logic.

Cascading n- and p-type dynamic logic effectively avoids signal monotonicity problem, and allows combinational-like circuit implementation. This helps to simplify the clocking scheme for cascaded logics requiring only one set of global precharge and evaluate clock signals. And also it expands the degree of expressing logic enabling expressions such as NOR, OR-of-NORs, in addition to those previously mentioned. Furthermore, the number of pipeline stages is significantly reduced for a given logic function, and buffer requirements are less compared with Skybridge 3D fabric thus improving on area and power metrics. Initial evaluation for NP-Dynamic-Skybridge’s 4-bit carry look-ahead adder shows up to 2x density benefits over Skybridge 3-D fabric and at least 17% power/throughput benefit.