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For the macrocell design style and for routing problems in which the routing regions are irregular, two-dimensional routers are often necessary. In this paper, a new routing technique that can be applied for general two-layer detailed routing problems, including switchboxes, channels, and partially routed areas, is presented. The routing regions that can be handled are very general: the boundaries can be described by any rectilinear edges, the pins can be on or inside the boundaries of the region, and the obstructions can be of any shape and size. The technique is based on an algorithm that routes the nets in the routing region incrementally and intelligently, and allows modifications and rip-up of nets when an existing shortest path is "far" from optimal or when no path exists. The modification steps (also called weak modification) relocate some segments of nets already routed to find a shorter path or to make room for a blocked net. The rip-up and reroute steps (called strong modifiction) remove segments of nets already routed to make room for a blocked connection; these steps are invoked only if weak modification fails. The algorithm has been rigorously proven to complete in finite time and its complexity has been analyzed. The algorithm has been implemented in the "C" programming language. Many test cases have been run, and on all the examples known in the literature the router has performed as well as or better than existing algorithms. In particular, Burstein's difficult switchbox example has been routed using one less column than the original data. In addition, the router has routed difficult channels such as Deutsch's in density and has performed better than or as well as YACR-II on all the channels available to us.
Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:6 , Issue: 6 )
Date of Publication: November 1987