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To produce a marketable PowerPC™ microprocessor on a short development schedule, the logic had to be designed in a manner flexible enough to allow quick modifications without sacrificing high performance and density when customized cells were required. This was accomplished for the PowerPC 601™ microprocessor (601) with a high-level design-language description, which was synthesized for a gate-level implementation and simulated for functional verification. In a similar way, the physical design strategy for the 601 struck an attractive balance between a highly automated, flexible floorplan and the additional density that had to be available for limited, well-conceived manual placements. Finally, a rigorous test strategy was implemented, which has proved very useful in analyzing the processor and in assembling 601-based systems. Careful adherence to this methodology led to a successful first-pass physical implementation, leaving the second iteration for additional customer requests.
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