The Full Adder

A CMOS Full Adder Designed with Speed in Mind

header image: a portion of the layout's interconnects

The Objective

The goal of this project was to design a full adder layout and optimize it for speed. The linear delay model (based on logical effort calculations) was used to determine the optimal architecture and optimal logic gate sizes. After simulating, it was found that the design had a smaller propagation delay than the calculations predicted.
logic circuit design


  • Full Adder must present an input capacitance equal to 3 times that of a unit transistor (referred to as 3C of capacitance)
  • Full Adder will be used to drive 90C of capacitance at its load
  • Layout must use the AMI C5N process with a feature size of 600 nm
  • Optimize the circuit for speed
  • Design and gate sizes must be based on linear delay model calculations

The Final Layout

The final designed measured in at 129.6 μm by 55.2 μm (432λ by 184λ). By comparison, the thickness of a human hair is generally between 17 μm and 181 μm!

logic circuit layout

Calculated Results

  • Input A to Carry propagation delay: 878 ps
  • Input A to Sum propagation delay: 1.369 ns

Simulation Results

  • Input A to Carry propagation delay: 835 ps
  • Input A to Sum propagation delay: 1.277 ns
logic circuit layout-based simulation plot

More Info

High-resolution layout image (137 Megapixels, 3.35 MB)
Project report with full analysis and design process explanations