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An SRAM Prototyping Tool for Rapid Sub-32nm Design Exploration and Optimization

Pub Year: 
2009
Primary Author: 
Coference, Book, or Journal: 
TECHCON
Attachments: 
Bhargava_TECHCON09_paper.pdf
Bhargava_TECHCON09_poster.pdf
Bhargava_TECHCON2009_paper.pdf
Bhargava_TECHCON2009_poster.pdf
BibTeX Number: 
28
Pub Type: 
conference
Abstract: 
SRAM design in scaled technologies increasingly requires circuit innovations such as read/write assist techniques or alternative bitcells to ensure even basic functionality. However, the lack of a quick mechanism for understanding the impact of these circuit level changes on system level metrics makes accurate assessments of new circuit techniques difficult. Thus, we introduce Virtual Prototyper (ViPro), a tool that helps circuit designers explore this large design space by rapidly generating optimized virtual prototypes of complete SRAM macros. ViPro does this by allowing SRAM component specification with varying levels of detail {-} from {\textquoteleft}black-box{\textquoteright} descriptions to complete netlists {-} and by incorporating those components into a hierarchical model that captures circuit and architectural features of the SRAM to optimize a complete prototype. SRAM designers can use ViPro to generate base-case prototypes, which provide starting points for design space exploration, or to assess the impact of a low level circuit innovation on the overall SRAM design.