FireBird: PowerPC e200 based SoC for high temperature operation

Radisav Cojbasic, Omer Cogal, Pascal Meinerzhagen, Christian Senning, Conor Slater, Thomas Maeder, Andreas Burg, Yusuf Leblebici

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


PowerPC Architecture microcontrollers are commonly used in embedded applications. In this work we present FireBird, the first PowerPC based SoC for reliable operation beyond 200°C. Designing SoCs for reliable operation at high temperatures is a significant challenge, due to increased static leakage current, reduced carrier mobility, and increased electro-migration. To alleviate the consequences of high temperatures, this paper proposes to customize a PowerPC e200 based SoC by using a dynamically reconfigurable clock frequency, exhaustive clock gating, and electromigration-resistant power supply rings. A 20×9 mm2 chip implementing this design has been fabricated in 0.35 μm CMOS technology. The custom testing procedure showed the expected maximum operating frequency reduction from 38MHz at room-temperature to 30 MHz at 200°C, which illustrates the importance of an adaptable clock frequency under temperature variation. At 200°C, the maximum power dissipation at 3.3 V supply voltage was 1.2W and the idle state static leakage current was 3.4 mA. Silicon measurements proved that this design outperforms PowerPC based SoCs available in the high-temperature microcontrollers market which are not operational at temperatures above 125°C.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the IEEE 2013 Custom Integrated Circuits Conference, CICC 2013
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Print)9781467361460
StatePublished - 7 Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event35th Annual Custom Integrated Circuits Conference - The Showcase for Circuit Design in the Heart of Silicon Valley, CICC 2013 - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: 22 Sep 201325 Sep 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Custom Integrated Circuits Conference
ISSN (Print)0886-5930


Conference35th Annual Custom Integrated Circuits Conference - The Showcase for Circuit Design in the Heart of Silicon Valley, CICC 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA


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