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Tradeoff analysis and optimization of power delivery networks with on-chip voltage regulation

Zhiyu Zeng, Xiaoji Ye, Zhuo Feng, Peng Li
Department of ECE, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, 77843, USA
47th ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference (DAC), 2010

@inproceedings{zeng2010tradeoff,

   title={Tradeoff analysis and optimization of power delivery networks with on-chip voltage regulation},

   author={Zeng, Z. and Ye, X. and Feng, Z. and Li, P.},

   booktitle={Proceedings of the 47th Design Automation Conference},

   pages={831–836},

   year={2010},

   organization={ACM}

}

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Integrating a large number of on-chip voltage regulators holds the promise of solving many power delivery challenges through strong local load regulation and facilitates system-level power management. The quantitative understanding of such complex power delivery networks (PDNs) is hampered by the large network complexity and interactions between passive on-die/package-level circuits and a multitude of nonlinear active regulators. We develop a fast combined GPU-CPU analysis engine encompassing several simulation strategies, optimized for various subcomponents of the network. Using accurate quantitative analysis, we demonstrate the significant performance improvement brought by on-chip low-dropout regulators (LDOs) in terms of suppressing high-frequency local voltage droops and avoiding the mid-frequency resonance caused by off-chip inductive parasitics. We perform comprehensive analysis on the tradeoffs among overhead of on-chip LDOs, maximum voltage droop and overall power efficiency. We conduct systematic design optimization by developing a simulation-based nonlinear optimization strategy that determines the optimal number of on-chip LDOs required and on-board input voltage, and the corresponding voltage droop and power efficiency for PDNs with multiple power domains.
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