A UNIVERSAL SOLUTION FOR POWER GATING

A complete solution for power gating management whatever the library...

Attain a simple solution to do power gating whatever the content of the power domain thanks to a complete and incremental solution.

Any Standard Cell Library

  • Dolphin Integration library: SESAME 9T, SESAME HD (6T) or SESAME uHD (6T)
or
  • Foundry High Speed library

Its Power Management Cells

Library dependent
  • Dolphin Integration SESAME ICK (Islands Construction Kit)
or
  • Foundry Coarse grain cells (Power Management Kit or Power Optimization Kit)
 
    • Level shifters
    • Isolation level shifters
    • Isolation cells
    • Always-on buffers and inverters
    • Retention cells
    • Power switches (grid style)

SESAME ICK (Islands Construction Kit) includes the cells required to support power gating, multi supply voltage and state retention techniques. Different ICK packages are available to match the cell height of the related SESAME standard cell library.

CLICK

Library independent
  • Power switches (ring style)
  • Ring cells
  • Transition Ramp Controller (TRC)
  • Automated implementation
    • Ring creation scripts for Cadence and Synopsys P&R solutions

CLICK is library-independent (its cells do not need to be placed in a row) and can be applied to any domain whatever its nature (logic or hard macro) and origin (be it Dolphin Integration or an other IP provider). It is composed of specific Power Switches and a patented programmable Transition Ramp Controller (TRC) cell that controls automatically the in-rush current, enabling a fast and safe wake-up from sleep mode.

Our customers talk about the CLICK

Interview of Eric Flamand, CTO of Greenwaves Technologies, explaining how they adopted our CLICK in their first "IoT Processor".

Almost every device targeting the market today has low power requirements, be it a battery operated device or an fan-less device sensitive to heat dissipation.
Operating the whole design or some subsystems at a lower voltage enables to save dynamic power, while leakage power can be drastically reduced by shutting down unused parts of the design

Incremental solutions to save power consumption

Partitioning the design into different voltage domains to apply different voltages per area

Need to insert level shifters between voltage domains

Implementing power domains for shut-down with one regulator for each voltage domain, at the cost of BoM and silicon area. Power gating is then easily handled by turning on or off the regulator, at the expense of significant wake-up time.

 

Need to insert isolation cells and always-on cells in each power domain

Implementing power domains for shut-down or retention, sharing a voltage regulator for several power domains, leading to saving both area and BoM cost while optimizing wake-up time. Power gating is then handled by turning on or off, locally, each power domain according to SoC activity modes.

Need to insert power switches and retention cells in each power domain to manage power gating at block level

CLICK, the universal power gating solution

Managing power gating with the CLICK enables:

* using our script with Cadence or Synopsys Place and Route solutions

 

Simply insert the patented Transition Ramp Controller for safe management of in-rush current and wake-up time

…which can be used for any kind of power domain

Pure logic power domain

Apply to any logic library regardless of the cell height.

Hard macro

Apply to any hard macro: memory instance (ROM, SRAM or eFlash) and analog IP.

Composite power domain

Apply to any domain including a mix of logic block with some hard blocks.

 

Fitting power domain of any polygonal shape

CLICK

CLICK key benefits

specification

Flexible in-rush current management

Automated limitation of in-rush current, enabling a « correct-by-construction » implementation thanks to patented TRC cell

Short wake-up latency (hundreds of ns)

Easy tuning (hard and soft programmable) of “wake-up latency vs in-rush current” trade-off, even after tape-out

Layout

Easy integration

Single power gating solution at SoC level

  • Applicable to any hard macro supplied at core voltage
  • Applicable to any digital logic block whatever the library provider (e.g. 12T sponsored library)

Semi-automated and optimized power gating implementation thanks to dedicated scripts for sizing the switches, setting the maximum in-rush current allowed and creating the power switch ring around any polygonal voltage area.

Chip

Ring Style implementation

Does not create further routing issues in already congested design

Enable quick update: no need to re-route the whole power gated block for exploring others strategies

Allows optimization of the ring to reach a better IR-Drop without re-routing the block

Chip

Leakage power reduction

up to 99.9% leakage power saving in sleep modes

Multiple VT, channel length and switch height for reaching the best trade-off IR Drop vs. Leakage

Benefit from an optimum package when combined with SESAME & our ICK add-on

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Wafer

Power Performance Area (PPA)

A multi-VT solution

Allows low voltage operation and retention at very low voltage thanks to dedicated retention flops

Reduce dynamic power by lowering voltage / splitting into multiple voltage domains

Effective method for reducing leakage power in stand-by/sleep modes (by switching-off unused blocks)

Area optimization thanks to the compatibility with our ultra High Density libraries (Sesame uHD) through dedicated retention spinner cells.

Wafer

Saving information

To shut down a block without losing register contents

Fast method to get the block fully functional after wake up (resume operation in hundreds of ns)

Capability to control always-on signals in power-gated blocks

Even better with our unique Fabric IPs...

Transition Ramp Controller for a safe power-up sequence

TRC (Transition Ramp Controller) is a unique patented cell providing a self-regulated and reliable way to control the power-on sequence. During wake-up, the TRC controls the voltage level applied at the transistor gate to open progressively the power switches.

With TRC, in-rush current is automatically clamped to the maximum allowed (up to 8 power-on scenarios are dynamically programmable), providing the twofold advantage of avoiding IR drop issue and optimizing wake-up latency.

Our TRC enables:

  • Automated limitation of in-rush current
    • Max in-rush current value is dynamically controllable enabling a management of power-on sequence by software, after tape-out.
    • Iterative and complex in-rush current analysis is replaced by a single verification

Thanks to the TRC, the in-rush current is kept below a safe limit ensuring a limited voltage drop
  • Smart "control” of the trade-off between wake-up time and in-rush current
  • Semi-automated power-on sequence including isolation and retention signal management

CLICK deliverables include scripts for an automatic power switch ring insertion and default TRC configuration.

The TRC of each power domain must be explicitly declared in Verilog. When used with Maestro, our unique solution to build the embedded power control network, TRC instantiation is automatically managed (transparent for the SoC designer).

SRAM with ERS option (Embedded Retention and Shutdown switches) embed a TRC to safely handle the wake up from retention and shut-down modes. Learn more...


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