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Buffer insertion is a popular technique to reduce interconnect delay. The classic buffer insertion algorithm of L.P.P.P. van Ginneken (see ISCAS, p.865-8, 1990) has time complexity O(n2), where n is the number of buffer positions. J. Lillis et al. (see IEEE Trans. Solid-Slate Circuits, vol.31, no.3, p.437-47, 1996) extended van Ginneken's algorithm to allow b buffer types in time O(b2n2). For modern design libraries that contain hundreds of buffers, it is a serious challenge to balance the speed and performance of the buffer insertion algorithm. We present a new algorithm that computes the optimal buffer insertion in O(bn2) time. The reduction is achieved by the observation that the (Q, C) pairs of the candidates that generate the new candidates must form a convex hull. On industrial test cases, the new algorithm is faster than the previous best buffer insertion algorithms by orders of magnitude.
Design, Automation and Test in Europe, 2005. Proceedings
Date of Conference: 7-11 March 2005