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J. Low Power Electron. Appl. 2011, 1(1), 219-246; doi:10.3390/jlpea1010219

Low Power Clock Network Design

1,* , 1
1 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, USA 2 Department of Electrical Engineering, Technion–Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 December 2010 / Revised: 8 April 2011 / Accepted: 30 April 2011 / Published: 19 May 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Topics in Low Power Design - From Circuits to Applications)


Power is a primary concern in modern circuits. Clock distribution networks, in particular, are an essential element of a synchronous digital circuit and a significant power consumer. Clock distribution networks are subject to clock skew due to process, voltage, and temperature (PVT) variations and load imbalances. A target skew between sequentially-adjacent registers can be obtained in a balanced low power clock tree using techniques such as buffer and wire sizing. Existing skew mitigation techniques in tree-based clock distribution networks, however, are not efficient in coping with post design variations; whereas the latest non-tree mesh-based solutions reliably handle skew variations, albeit with a significant increase in dissipated power. Alternatively, crosslink-based methods provide low power and variation-efficient skew solutions. Existing crosslink-based methods, however, only address skew at the network topology level and do not target low power consumption. Different methods to manage skew and skew variations within tree and non-tree clock distribution networks are reviewed and compared in this paper. Guidelines for inserting crosslinks within a buffered low power clock tree are provided. Metrics to determine the most power efficient technique for a given circuit are discussed and verified with simulation.
Keywords: low power; skew; skew variation; crosslinks; mesh; topologies low power; skew; skew variation; crosslinks; mesh; topologies
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Vaisband, I.; Friedman, E.G.; Ginosar, R.; Kolodny, A. Low Power Clock Network Design. J. Low Power Electron. Appl. 2011, 1, 219-246.

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J. Low Power Electron. Appl. EISSN 2079-9268 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert