186 R. Udaiyakumar and K. Sankaranarayanan
2.1. Sub-Threshold Leakage Current (I
The Subthreshold conduction or the subthreshold leakage or the subthreshold drain current is thecurrent that flows between the source and drain of a MOSFET when the transistor is operated in sub-threshold region due to weak inversion layer (gate-to-source voltages below the threshold voltage).Figure 2 shows sub threshold leakage mechanism in which the gate is driven with zero volts,also V
are driven with 0 Volts (zero body bias) and V
is kept at 0.9V. Unlike in stronginversion region due to drift current, Sub threshold conduction is dominated by diffusion current. In the past, the subthreshold conduction of transistors has been very small, but as transistors have been scaleddown, leakage from all sources got increased. For a technology generation with threshold voltage of 0.2 V, leakage can exceed 50% of total power consumption.
The reason for a growing importance of subthreshold conduction is that the supply voltage has continually scaled down, both to reduce thedynamic power consumption of integrated circuits and to keep electric fields inside small devices low,to maintain device reliability. The amount of subthreshold conduction is set by the threshold voltage,which lies between ground and the supply voltage, and so has to be reduced along with the supplyvoltage .
Sub Threshold leakage mechanism
According to BSIM4 , drain current equation in sub-threshold region for short channelMOSFETs can be modeled as
⎡ ⎤− −⎛ ⎞ ⎡ ⎤= − −⎢ ⎥⎜ ⎟⎢ ⎥⎝ ⎠ ⎣ ⎦⎣ ⎦
is the drain to source voltage, V
is thermal voltage and equal to K
is the thresholdvoltage, V
is the offset voltage = V
which determines the channel current at V
= 0,n is the sub-threshold swing parameter. µ, W, L are mobility, Width and Length of the transistor respectively. N
is the substrate doping concentration at depletion edge at V
= 0, where V
is bulk to source potential. q,
are intrinsic charge carrier, permittivity of silicon and surface charge potential respectively.
3. Existing Circuit Level Leakage Reduction Techniques
For a CMOS circuit, the total power dissipation includes dynamic and static components during theactive mode of operation. In the standby mode, the power dissipation is due to the standby leakagecurrent. Dynamic power dissipation consists of two components. One is the switching power due tocharging and discharging of load capacitance. The other is the short circuit power due to the nonzero