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Existing static timing analyzers make several assumptions about circuits, implicitly trading off accuracy for speed. In this paper we examine the validity of these assumptions, notably the slope approximation to waveforms, single-input transitions, and the choice of a propagating signal based on a single voltage-time point. We provide data on static CMOS gates that show delays obtained in this way can be optimistic by more than 30%. We propose a new approach, Waveform-based Timing Analysis (WTA) that employs a state-of-the-art circuit simulator as the underlying delay modeler. We show that such an approach can achieve more accurate delays than slope-based timing analyzers at a computation cost that still allows iterations between design modification and delay analysis.
Date of Conference: 10-14 Nov. 2002