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Automated Performance Optimization of Custom Integrated Circuits

Trimberger, Stephen (1983) Automated Performance Optimization of Custom Integrated Circuits. California Institute of Technology . (Unpublished)

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The complexity of integrated circuits requires a hierarchical design methodology that allows the user to divide the problem into pieces, design each piece independently, and assemble the pieces into the complete system. The design herarchy brings out composition problems, problems that are a property of the assembly as a whole, not of one single instance in the hierarchy. Recent research has produced tools that automate part of the composition task - the logical connection of the pieces. However, these tools do not ensure that signals driven over these connections will be driven sufficiently to give reasonable cycle speed of the resulting chips. It is easily possible to specify an assembly in which a small-sized gate is required to drive an enormous load. Parasitic capacitance of the wiring made automatically by the logical connection tool can be the dominant source of delay, so assembly tools can actually worsen the performance of the circuit and hide this fact from the designer. When required to make large circuits, automated layout tools such as PLA generators can blindly make layouts that give abysmally poor performance. Here again, the delay is in a part of circuit that the designer did not specify, so it is hidden. Finding and correcting these problems is a difficult and time-consuming task in integrated circuit design, and one that consumes vastly more people's time and computer time than the simple assembly of the chip.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Technical Report)
Group:Computer Science Technical Reports
Record Number:CaltechCSTR:1983.5073-tr-83
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:You are granted permission for individual, educational, research and non-commercial reproduction, distribution, display and performance of this work in any format.
ID Code:26990
Deposited By: Imported from CaltechCSTR
Deposited On:07 Aug 2002
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 03:19

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