Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Electrical Engineering


Poole, Kelvin

Committee Member

Harrell , William

Committee Member

Bridgwood , Michael


The design of an ALU and a Cache memory for use in a high performance processor was examined in this thesis. Advanced architectures employing increased parallelism were analyzed to minimize the number of execution cycles needed for 8 bit integer arithmetic operations. In addition to the arithmetic unit, an optimized SRAM memory cell was designed to be used as cache memory and as fast Look Up Table.
The ALU consists of stand alone units for bit parallel computation of basic integer arithmetic operations. Addition and subtraction were performed using Kogge Stone parallel prefix hardware operating at 330MHz. A high performance multiplier was built using Radix 4 Modified Booth Encoder (MBE) and a Wallace Tree summation array. The multiplier requires single clock cycle for 8 bit integer multiplication and operates at a maximum frequency of 100MHz. Multiplicative division hardware was built for executing both integer division and square root. The division hardware computes 8-bit division and square root in 4 clock cycles. Multiplier forms the basic building block of all these functional units, making high level of resource sharing feasible with this architecture. The optimal operating frequency for the arithmetic unit is 70MHz.
A 6T CMOS SRAM cell measuring 90 µm2 was designed using minimum size transistors. The layout allows for horizontal overlap resulting in effective area of 76 µm2 for an 8x8 array. By substituting equivalent bit line capacitance of P4 L1 Cache, the memory was simulated to have a read time of 3.27ns.

An optimized set of test vectors were identified to enable high fault coverage without the need for any additional test circuitry. Sixteen test cases were identified that would toggle all the nodes and provide all possible inputs to the sub units of the multiplier. A correlation based semi automatic method was investigated to facilitate test case identification for large multipliers. This method of testability eliminates performance and area overhead associated with conventional testability hardware.
Bottom up design methodology was employed for the design. The performance and area metrics are presented along with estimated power consumption. A set of Monte Carlo analysis was carried out to ensure the dependability of the design under process variations as well as fluctuations in operating conditions. The arithmetic unit was found to require a total die area of 2mm2 (approx.) in 0.35 micron process.