On-chip Power Noise Reduction Techniques in High Performance ICs

Future generations of integrated circuit technologies are trending toward higher speeds and densities. The total capacitive load associated with the internal circuitry has been increasing for several generations of high complexity integrated circuits [165], [166]. As the operating frequencies increase, the average on-chip current required to charge and discharge these capacitances also has increased, while the switching time has decreased. As a result, a large change in the total on-chip current can occur within a brief period of time.

Due to the high slew rate of the currents flowing through the bonding wires, package pins, and on-chip interconnects, the ground and supply voltage can fluctuate (or bounce) due to the parasitic impedances associated with the package-to-chip and on-chip interconnects. These voltage fluctuations on the supply and ground rails, called ground bounce, ∆I noise, or simultaneous switching noise (SSN) [284], are larger since a significant number of the I/O drivers and internal logic circuitry switch close in time to the clock edges. SSN generates glitches on the ground and power supply wires, decreasing the effective current drive of the circuits, producing output signal distortion, thereby reducing the noise margins of a system. As a result, the performance and functionality of the system can be severely compromised.

In the past, research on SSN has concentrated on transient power noise caused by current flowing through the inductive bonding wires at the I/O buffers. SSN originating from the internal circuitry, however, has become an important issue in the design of VDSM high performance ICs, such as systems-on-chip, mixed-signal circuits, and microprocessors. This increased importance is due to fast clock rates, large on-chip switching activities and currents, and increased on-chip inductance, all of which are increasingly common characteristics of VDSM synchronous ICs.


Parasitic Resistance Capacitance Variation Parasitic Inductance Noise Reduction Technique Power Distribution Network 
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© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

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