Soft-edge flip-flop technique for aggressive voltage scaling in low-power digital designs

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Ustun, Huseyin Mert

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Low-power digital design has been a widely researched area for the past twenty years. The growing demand for mobile computing made low power an especially important quality for such systems and encouraged researchers to find new ways of reducing power dissipation. Aggressive voltage scaling was recently published as a new paradigm for reducing power dissipation in digital circuits and the use of soft-edge flip-flops is one such technique in this category. In this thesis, we propose a soft-edge flip-flop topology that is better suited to implement the soft-edge property compared to the previously published implementations. In addition, we present the effectiveness of the soft-edge flip-flop technique by applying it to a practical VLSI design implemented with the TSMC 0.18um standard cell library. Using HSIM transistor-level SPICE simulator, we show that at least 25% power reduction is achievable in the whole circuit with a negligible area overhead.



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