Razor-based circuits can run faster or at a lower voltage than those designed to work at the worst case corner. However, all known implementations are prone to failures due to the non-deterministic timing behavior introduced by metastability, even in the case where sufficient time is left for resolution. This paper analyzes the causes why Razor-based circuits fail and proposes a new scheme combining the Razor principle with stoppable clocks in a GALS setting. This scheme avoids any timing failure due to metastability and does not require any checkpointing or pipeline restarting logic, other than the usual auxiliary latch to store valid data. The experiments show how the Razor principle can be extended to any generic logic circuit, and not just to microprocessors with sophisticated pipeline flush/recovery mechanisms. In this way, the performance/power benefits of Razor can be adopted without the complex architectural changes required by the various Razor schemes in the literature.
CitationCannizzaro, M., Beer, S., Cortadella, J., Ginosar, R., Lavagno, L. SafeRazor: Metastability-robust adaptive clocking in resilient circuits. "IEEE transactions on circuits and systems I: regular papers", 01 Setembre 2015, vol. 62, núm. 9, p. 2238-2247.
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