PowerTrim gate length biasing optimizes power with no area or performance compromise
Hsinchu, Taiwan – January 6, 2010 – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd. (TSMC) (TWSE: 2330, NYSE: TSM) today announced that LSI Corporation achieved over 25% overall leakage reduction in a next-generation product by implementing TSMC’s PowerTrim power optimization technology on the company’s 65nm low power (LP) process.
PowerTrim is a first-of-its-kind technology that blends a layer of design technology with advanced semiconductor processing to optimize a design’s power leakage. Tela Innovations provides the patented PowerTrim technology and services under an exclusive license to TSMC.
PowerTrim software analyzed the LSI design and substituted cells with small increases in gate length on non-critical timing paths. These small changes make a significant impact since increasing gate length exponentially reduces leakage current.
“Low power consumption and high performance are key to the success of our products,” said Norm Lawrence, director of Product and Test Engineering, Networking Components Division at LSI Corporation. “Working closely with TSMC and Tela Innovations, PowerTrim helped us reduce leakage power by over 25% while improving our yield distribution for leakage.”
PowerTrim performs speed/power tradeoffs using a CD biasing technique that analyzes designs and intelligently applies gate length biases to the appropriate cells (i.e. non-critical paths possessing sufficient timing “slack”). The technology optimizes transistors along these paths without reducing chip performance. The gate CD biases are implemented as part of the Optical Proximity Correction (OPC) flow. The process does not impact cell footprint or chip area. The result is significant leakage power reduction while maintaining chip performance and area. PowerTrim also significantly reduces leakage power variability resulting in improved parametric yield.
“Enabling our customers to improve important product features like power consumption is one of the key objectives of TSMC’s Open Innovation PlatformTM initiative,” said S.T. Juang, senior director of Design Infrastructure Marketing at TSMC. “Collaborating with innovative companies like Tela Innovations to provide an Open InnovationTM program creates differentiated value that is the central vision behind this initiative. We are quite pleased with the results that LSI achieved and are encouraged by their decision to deploy PowerTrim.”
The PowerTrim service is implemented in conjunction with other leakage reduction techniques such as multi-Vt cell libraries, reverse body biasing, header/footer sleep switches, and voltage islands. It provides additional leakage improvements and is more efficient in terms of leakage reduction per unit of slack than high-Vt transistors.
PowerTrim is available directly from TSMC for advanced process technologies including 90nm, 80nm, 65nm, 55nm, and 40nm process nodes. Tela’s technology is exclusively embedded in PowerTrim. Contact TSMC account management for more information.
TSMC is the world’s largest dedicated semiconductor foundry, providing the industry’s leading process technology and the foundry’s largest portfolio of process-proven libraries, IP, design tools and reference flows. The Company’s total managed capacity in 2009 exceeded 10 million 8-inch equivalent wafers, including capacity from two advanced 12-inch - GigaFabs™, four eight-inch fabs, one six-inch fab, as well as TSMC’s wholly owned subsidiaries, WaferTech and TSMC (China), and its joint venture fab, SSMC. TSMC is the first foundry to provide 40nm production capabilities. Its corporate headquarters are in Hsinchu, Taiwan. For more information about TSMC please visit http://www.tsmc.com.