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Title: Analysis of Performance Variation in 16nm FinFET FPGA Devices
Authors: Τάκα, Έντρι
Σούντρης Δημήτριος
Keywords: FPGA, Process Variability, Ring Oscillator, Reliability, Performance Variation, SoC FPGA, Temperature, Supply Voltage, Aging
Issue Date: 19-Jul-2019
Abstract: The exponential scale down of the semiconductor technology has led to compelling improvements in power, performance and cost. This rapid scale down, however, exacerbated the unintended process fluctuations due to the difficulty in controlling the manufacturing process. Therefore, process variability has become a challenging issue in modern technologies, resulting in deviations of the electrical characteristics of circuits, impacting, mainly, the reliability and performance of chips. Although, variability does not solely occur from manufacturing, but also from fluctuations in supply voltage and temperature, as well as natural wear out phenomena resulting from utilization of chips, called aging effects. In addition, the aforementioned deviations are expected to become even more substantial in the future technology nodes. Consequently, the study of chip variability becomes substantial. While all computing platforms divulge variability issues, Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) are of particular interest due to their reconfigurable nature. This ability enables the programming of each resource at very low level by performing the socalled built-in-self-tests (BISTs). Exploiting this attribute, enables us to assess the actual performance variation by deploying custom sensors across the FPGA fabric. In this work, we focus on the study of performance variation in 16nm FinFET FPGAs. We formulate a comprehensive assessment methodology based on the wellestablished ring oscillator sensors, which are designed utilizing diverse resource and delay characteristics. To obtain precise results and to comprehend the nature of the variability, we decouple variability to systematic and stochastic accompanied by adequate mathematical modeling of variations. Additionally, we assess the variability under different environmental conditions, i.e., supply voltage and temperature, to grasp and explain their effect on variability and circuit performance. The experimental results on four Zynq XCZU7EV show up to 7.3% intra-die variation, increasing to 9.9% for certain operating conditions. Our approach demonstrates that logic and FPGA routing interconnect resources (including metal wires as well as switching transistors) present different variability, slightly uncorrelated, which highlights the necessity on the direction towards implementing more sophisticated mitigation methods/tools.
Appears in Collections:Διπλωματικές Εργασίες - Theses

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