Towards Minimizing the Adverse Effects of Temperature on High Performance Digital Systems

Open Access
Ricketts, Andrew Jonathan Sylvester
Graduate Program:
Computer Science and Engineering
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
October 22, 2009
Committee Members:
  • Vijaykrishnan Narayanan, Dissertation Advisor
  • Vijaykrishnan Narayanan, Committee Chair
  • Mary Jane Irwin, Committee Member
  • Yuan Xie, Committee Member
  • Kenan Unlu, Committee Member
  • High temperature relaibility
  • NBTI
  • temperature induced clock skew
There are wide power variations across a chip leading to temperature variations. High power density components such as register files and arithmetic logic units will trend towards elevated temperatures while other lower power density units will be cooler. Higher temperatures in general decrease the lifetime reliability of digital systems through a number of mechanisms. Furthermore, continued scaling leads to an increase in soft error occurrences. To this end in addition to increasing the error resiliency of register files a proposal that would also lower energy per access is presented. The power modes available to save power also have the effect of lowering the rate of certain degradation. The effect of negative bias temperature instability (NBTI) on SRAM cells under power saving modes is investigated for leakage current, read and hold margins. This is done for both symmetric and asymmetric cells. Noting that temperature variations occurs across a chip, we present techniques to lower its effects on synchronous digital circuits propagation delay variation in general and clock skew in particular.