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International Business Machines : Patent Issued for Selective Voltage Binning Leakage Screen (USPTO 9772374)

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10/05/2017 | 08:55pm CEST

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- From Alexandria, Virginia, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventors Bickford, Jeanne P. (Essex Junction, VT); Dezfulian, Kevin K. (Mount Kisco, NY); Lichtensteiger, Susan K. (Essex Junction, VT); Raymond, Jeanne H. (Richmond, VT), filed on October 4, 2012, was published online on September 26, 2017.

The patent's assignee for patent number 9772374 is INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION (Armonk, NY).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Power consumption of integrated circuit devices (e.g., complementary metal oxide semiconductors (CMOS)) consists of two components: dynamic power (i.e., active power) and leakage power (i.e., static power). Dynamic power is the power required to switch the state of a device (i.e., to change the binary state of one or more device components from high to low or low to high). It is a function of capacitance, voltage, and switching frequency (e.g., P.about.CV.sup.nF, where P is the dynamic power, C is the effective switch capacitance, V is the supply voltage, n is a coefficient greater than or equal to 2, and F is the switching frequency). Leakage power is the power consumed by a device when it is powered but not switching. In an integrated circuit device composed primarily of metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors, the leakage power is an exponential function of the supply voltage.

"Manufacturing processes may vary one or more physical parameters of devices that are formed according to the same design. These variations can affect delay (i.e., performance) of devices. Devices having delays that are extremely fast or slow with respect to an average one of the devices may not be desirable. In more technical terms, such devices may be at the 'slow' end or the 'fast' end of a process-voltage-temperature (PVT) space. A device at the 'slow' end of the PVT space may not meet device delay requirements, whereas a device manufactured at the 'fast' end of the PVT space may consume excessive dynamic power and/or leakage.

"Selective voltage binning is a method for sorting manufactured devices to reduce the worst-case power consumption of a distribution of devices (e.g., parts). This technique varies the supply voltage based on the respective device delay of the devices in each voltage bin. Specifically, slower devices require a higher voltage to operate at maximum delay and faster devices require a lower voltage to operate within maximum power requirements. Therefore, slower devices are assigned to bins having greater voltage and faster devices are assigned to bins having lower voltage. This increases the fraction of the manufacturing distribution which simultaneously meet the design requirements for device delay and power consumption.

"In selective voltage binning, testing is performed to determine the respective device delays of individual devices manufactured from the same design. For example, the temperature and voltage of the device may be fixed and the device delay of one or more components of the device may be measured. The devices are sorted into a plurality of voltage bins (i.e., groups) based on their respective device delays. If the delay of a particular device is low then the device is placed in a fast voltage bin corresponding to its delay. If the delay is high, then the device is placed in a slow device voltage bin corresponding to its delay. After the devices are sorted into bins, the range of acceptable supply voltages for operating the devices in each voltage bin is determined. In general, the nominal supply voltage for each bin decreases monotonically from the slowest bin to the fastest bin. Since both dynamic power and leakage power increase in proportion to the supply voltage, a reduction in the required supply voltage will reduce both dynamic and leakage power consumption and, thus, total power consumption.

"When a particular device is provided to a customer, it is provided along with information indicating one or both of its assigned voltage bin and the required supply voltage corresponding to its assigned voltage bin. For example, the assigned bin or supply voltage requirements may be recorded within or on a device (e.g., by using a printed barcode or embedded non-volatile memory devices) for reference by a customer when setting up power supplies in a system using a particular device."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "In an aspect of the invention, a method comprises sorting a plurality of devices manufactured from the same device design into a plurality of voltage bins corresponding to a respective supply voltage. The method further comprises determining a respective total power of each of the plurality of voltage bins. The method further comprises determining a respective uplift power of each of the plurality of voltage bins. The method further comprises determining a respective first leakage screen value for each of the plurality of voltage bins based on the respective uplift power of each of the plurality of voltage bins.

"In another aspect of the invention, a method for performing leakage screening comprises sorting a plurality of devices manufactured from the same device design into a plurality of voltage bins corresponding to a respective supply voltage. The method further comprises determining a respective first leakage screen value for each of a plurality of voltage bins. The method further comprises determining a second leakage screen value for a fastest performance voltage bin of the plurality of voltage bins. The method further comprises selecting one of the respective first leakage screen value and the second leakage screen value for each of the plurality of voltage bins.

"In an additional aspect of the invention, a computer program product comprising a computer readable storage medium having readable program code embodied in the storage medium is provided. The computer program product includes at least one component configured to determine a respective first leakage screen value for each of a plurality of voltage bins, said first leakage screen value providing a guard band with respect to a respective expected (e.g. median) leakage current for each of a plurality of voltage bins. The at least one component is further configured to determine a second leakage screen value for a fastest performance voltage bin of the plurality of bins. The at least one component is further configured to select one of the respective first leakage screen value and the second leakage screen value for each of the plurality of voltage bins."

For additional information on this patent, see: Bickford, Jeanne P.; Dezfulian, Kevin K.; Lichtensteiger, Susan K.; Raymond, Jeanne H.. Selective Voltage Binning Leakage Screen. U.S. Patent Number 9772374, filed October 4, 2012, and published online on September 26, 2017. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=9772374.PN.&OS=PN/9772374RS=PN/9772374

Keywords for this news article include: Computers, INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2017, NewsRx LLC

(c) 2017 NewsRx LLC, source Technology Newsletters

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