Portland State University. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Electrical and Computer Engineering
1 online resource (xv, 168 pages)
Three-dimensional integrated circuits -- Design and construction, Interconnects (Integrated circuit technology), Integrated circuits
Through silicon via (TSV) based 3D integrated circuits have inspired a novel design paradigm which explores the vertical dimension, in order to alleviate the performance and power limitations associated with long interconnects in 2D circuits. TSVs enable vertical interconnects across stacked and thinned dies in 3D-IC designs, resulting in reduced wirelength, footprint, faster speed, improved bandwidth, and lesser routing congestion. However, the usage of TSVs itself gives rise to many critical design challenges towards the minimization of chip delay and power consumption. Therefore, realization of the benefits of 3D ICs necessitates an early and realistic prediction of circuit performance during the early layout design stage.
The goal of this thesis is to meet the design challenges of 3D ICs by providing new capabilities to the existing floorplanning framework . The additional capabilities included in the existing floorplanning tool is the co-placement of TSV islands with circuit blocks and performing non-deterministic assignment of signals to TSVs. We also replace the wirelength and number of TSVs in the floorplanning cost function with the total delay in the nets. The delay-aware cost function accounts for RC delay impact of TSVs on the delay of individual signal connection, and obviates the efforts required to balance the weight contributions of wirelength and TSVs in the wirelength-aware floorplanning. Our floorplanning tool results in 5% shorter wirelength and 21% lesser TSVs compared to recent approaches. The delay in the cost function improves total delay in the interconnects by 10% - 12% compared to wirelength-aware cost function.
The influence of large coupling capacitance between TSVs on the delay, power and coupling noise in 3D interconnects also offers serious challenges to the performance of 3D-IC. Due to the degree of design complexity introduced by TSVs in 3D ICs, the importance of early stage evaluation and optimization of delay, power and signal integrity of 3D circuits cannot be ignored. The unique contribution of this work is to develop methods for accurate analysis of timing, power and coupling noise across multiple stacked device layers during the floorplanning stage. Incorporating the impact of TSV and the stacking of multiple device layers within floorplanning framework will help to achieve 3D layouts with superior performance.
Therefore, we proposed an efficient TSV coupling noise model to evaluate the coupling noise in the 3D interconnects during floorplanning. The total coupling noise in 3D interconnects is included in the cost function to optimize positions of TSVs and blocks, as well as nets-to-TSVs assignment to obtain floorplans with minimized coupling noise. We also suggested diagonal TSV arrangement for larger TSV pitch and nonuniform pitch arrangement for reducing worst TSV-to-TSV coupling, thereby minimizing the coupling noise in the interconnects.
This thesis also focuses on more realistic evaluation and optimization of delay and power in TSV based 3D integrated circuits considering the interconnect density on individual device layers. The floorplanning tool uses TSV locations and delay, non-uniform interconnect density across multiple stacked device layers to assess and optimize the buffer count, delay, and interconnect power dissipation in a design. It is shown that the impact of non-uniform interconnect density, across the stacked device layers, should not be ignored, as its contribution to the performance of the 3D interconnects is consequential.
A wire capacitance-aware buffer insertion scheme is presented that determines the optimal distance between adjacent buffers on the individual device layers for nonuniform wire density between stacked device layers. The proposed approach also considers TSV location on a 3D wire to optimize the buffer insertion around TSVs. For 3D designs with uniform wire density across stacked device layers, we propose a TSV-aware buffer insertion approach that appropriately models the TSV RC delay impact on interconnect delay to determine the optimum interval between adjacent buffers for individual 3D nets. Moreover, our floorplanning tool help achieve 3D layouts with superior performance by incorporating the impact of nonuniform density on the delay, power and coupling noise in the interconnects during floorplanning.
Ahmed, Mohammad Abrar, "Early Layout Design Exploration in TSV-based 3D Integrated Circuits" (2017). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 3617.