2017 Volume E100.A Issue 12 Pages 2764-2775
Scaling supply voltage (VDD) and threshold voltage (Vth) dynamically has a strong impact on energy efficiency of CMOS LSI circuits. Techniques for optimizing VDD and Vth simultaneously under dynamic workloads are thus widely investigated over the past 15 years. In this paper, we refer to the optimum pair of VDD and Vth, which minimizes the energy consumption of a circuit under a specific performance constraint, as a minimum energy point (MEP). Based on the simple transregional models of a CMOS circuit, this paper derives a simple necessary and sufficient condition for the MEP operation. The simple condition helps find the MEP of CMOS circuits. Measurement results using standard-cell based memories (SCMs) fabricated in a 65-nm process technology also validate the condition derived in this paper.