Table of Contents
VLSI Design
Volume 7, Issue 3, Pages 243-254

Statistical Estimation of the ,Switching Activity in VLSI Circuits

Coordinated Science Lab. and ECE Dept., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA

Copyright © 1998 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Higher levels of integration have led to a generation of integrated circuits for which power dissipation and reliability are major design concerns. In CMOS circuits, both of these problems are directly related to the extent of circuit switching activity. The average number of transitions per second at a circuit node is a measure of switching activity that has been called the transition density. This paper presents a statistical simulation technique to estimate individual node transition densities in combinational logic circuits. The strength of this approach is that the desired accuracy and confidence can be specified up-front by the user. Another key feature is the classification of nodes into two categories: regular- and low-density nodes. Regular-density nodes are certified with user-specified percentage error and confidence levels. Low-density nodes are certified with an absolute error, with the same confidence. This speeds convergence while sacrificing percentage accuracy only on nodes which contribute little to power dissipation and have few reliability problems.