Date of Award

7-2015

Degree Name

MS in Electrical Engineering

Department

Electrical Engineering

Advisor

Tina Smilkstein

Abstract

This research details the design of an SRAM compiler for quickly creating SRAM blocks for Cal Poly integrated circuit (IC) designs. The compiler generates memory for two process technologies (IBM 180nm cmrf7sf and ON Semiconductor 600nm SCMOS) and requires a minimum number of specifications from the user for ease of use, while still offering the option to customize the performance for speed or area of the generated SRAM cell. By automatically creating SRAM arrays, the compiler saves the user time from having to layout and test memory and allows for quick updates and changes to a design. Memory compilers with various features already exist, but they have several disadvantages. Most memory compilers are expensive, usually only generate memory for one process technology, and don’t allow for user-defined custom SRAM cell optimizations. This free design makes it available for students and institutions that would not be able to afford an industry-made compiler. A compiler that offers multiple process technologies allows for more freedom to design in other processes if needed or desired. An attempt was made for this design to be modular for different process technologies so new processes could be added with ease; however, different process technologies have different DRC rules, making that option very difficult to attain. A customizable SRAM cell based on transistor sizing ratios allows for optimized designs in speed, area, or power, and for academic research. Even for an experienced designer, the layout of a single SRAM cell (1 bit) can take an hour. This command-line-based tool can draw a 1Kb SRAM block in seconds and a 1Mb SRAM block in about 15 minutes. In addition, this compiler also adds a manually laid out precharge circuit to each of the SRAM columns for an enhanced read operation by ensuring the bit lines have valid logic output values. Finally, an analysis on SRAM cell stability is done for creating a robust cell as the default design for the compiler. The default cell design is verified for stability during read and write operations, and has an area of 14.067 µm2 for the cmrf7sf process and 246.42 µm2 for the SCMOS process. All factors considered, this SRAM compiler design overcomes several of the drawbacks of other existing memory compilers.

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