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Furthermore, this decreased sensitivity to process parameter variations by exploiting the localized permissible range of each local data path is completely compatible with the design techniques described in the following subsection. Design of Process-Insensitive Clock Distribution Networks A primary disadvantage of clock distribution networks is that the delay of each of the elements of a clock path, the distributed buffers and the interconnect impedances, are highly sensitive to geometric, material, and environmental variations that exist in an implementing technology.

These sensitivities provide a means of choosing those nets that will decrease the average delay of the RC trees as near as possible to a specified target delay. Those nets whose delay must be increased and are less sensitive to increasing capacitance are widened. However, if all the clock nets are relatively thin, statistical variations in the widths of those wires closest to the clock driver may affect the actual clock skew the most (108). This occurs because the section of interconnect closest to the driver sees the greatest portion of the distributed RC impedance of the interconnect line.

In designing this high-speed microprocessor, significant attention has been placed on the circuit implementation. 25 Ȑm for the second and first layers of metal, respectively). Therefore, the resistivity per unit length of the third layer of metal and the metal to substrate capacitance is less. A number of inherent difficulties exists within the clock distribution requirements of the Alpha chip. 25 nF). 5 ns) must be maintained throughout the clock distribution network. The huge capacitive load is caused by the 63,000 transistor gates being driven by the clock distribution system.

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