Skip to Main Content
Design automation at the register transfer level of design is still in its infancy, and it is not yet completely understood what the appropriate measures used in direction the automated design process should be. To establish these measures, results of these design automation systems must be compared with some near optimal designs. A set of statistically based experiments is developed to estimate near optimal designs. A method is demonstrated for gathering data on designer performance, specifically at the different levels of systems design, and in general for calibration of other design automation systems where the intuitive designer still performs more capably than the present design algorithms. An analysis of variance is used to indicate the relative importance of various decisions in a system design. It is shown that the algorithm to be implemented and the hardware design style account for 90 percent of the variation in the results. Thus, selecting the design style (e.g., distributed, microprocessor, pipelined, etc.) is the most important parameter for a design automation system.