Comparison framework for low swing on-chip interconnect circuits

Astria Nur Irfansyah, Torsten Lehmann, Saeid Nooshabadi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


There has been many low-swing on-chip interconnect signaling techniques introduced to tackle the problem of inverse-scaling effect of on-chip wires. This paper proposes a comparison framework using SPICE-based simulations on the 90nm technology node, which is needed to assess the effectiveness of a certain interconnect technique over the others with a high degree of objectiveness and accuracy. Two low-swing techniques are included in the comparison, i.e. conventional level converter (CLC) and current-mode signaling (CM). These techniques were chosen to represent different driver and receiver topologies, where CLC uses lower driver supply voltage, while CM has a low impedance termination at receiver end. In addition, an optimized full-swing repeater-based technique is included as a baseline for comparison. The main contribution of this paper is the identification of circuit and wire design parameters that affects performances the most, leading to a design guideline with reduced set of design variables for delay or energy optimization of each technique. A simplified repeater performance estimation technique considering ramp input signals is also proposed. Furthermore, trade-off between energy and delay using the optimization processes has been explored, resulting in a more objective comparison of different interconnect techniques in the power-delay space. Results show that optimized CLC (reduced voltage supply) repeaters can perform better in both terms of delay and power in its design performance range.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMicroelectronics
Subtitle of host publicationDesign, Technology, and Packaging III
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
EventMicroelectronics: Design, Technology, and Packaging III - Canberra, ACT, Australia
Duration: 5 Dec 20077 Dec 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceMicroelectronics: Design, Technology, and Packaging III
CityCanberra, ACT


  • Current-mode signaling
  • Low-swing
  • Modeling
  • On-chip interconnects
  • Optimization


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