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Fast Statistical Static Timing Analysis Using Smart Monte Carlo Techniques

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4 Author(s)
Veetil, V. ; Synopsys, Inc., Mountain View, CA, USA ; Chopra, K. ; Blaauw, D. ; Sylvester, D.

In this paper, we propose a stratification+hybrid quasi Monte Carlo (SH-QMC) approach to improve the efficiency of Monte Carlo-based statistical static timing analysis (SSTA) using sample size reduction. Sample size reduction techniques proposed in the literature exhibit a tradeoff between accuracy of the Monte Carlo estimate with fewer samples and their ability to handle large number of variables in multidimensional space. This paper proposes to target several such techniques to different sets of process variation variables by using information about the importance of these variables to the circuit delay, and the capability of the techniques to handle multiple dimensions. Simulations on benchmark circuits up to 90 K gates show that the proposed method requires up to 224 samples for varying levels of process variation to achieve accurate timing estimates. Results also show that when SH-QMC is performed with multiple parallel threads on a quad-core processor, the approach is faster than traditional SSTA with comparable accuracy. When the proposed SH-QMC technique is supplemented with a graph pruning method the runtime is further reduced by 46-48% on average. The technique is also extended to include an incremental approach to recompute a percentile delay metric after engineering change order.

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Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:30 ,  Issue: 6 )