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Variation-Aware False Path Analysis Based on Statistical Dynamic Timing Analysis

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2 Author(s)
Jongyoon Jung ; Sch. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., Seoul Nat. Univ., Seoul, South Korea ; Taewhan Kim

In recent years, there has been a lot of research into statistical static timing analysis (SSTA) to compute the critical path delay of a circuit under timing variation. In order to compute the true critical path delay, however, false paths that cannot be sensitized by any input vector must be identified first. Since SSTA is unable to capture the dynamic timing behavior of a circuit, it is completely blind to false paths, and thus it overestimates the circuit timing. In this paper, we propose a new concept of timing analysis approach called statistical dynamic timing analysis (SDTA), which is able to precisely express the statistical behavior of dynamic transitions at the output of gate into a compact form and to directly evaluate and propagate the expressions throughout the circuit, by which the false paths can be cleaned effectively. In addition, to be practical, we propose a couple of techniques that enable a fast computation of the SDTA. We tested the proposed approach on ISCAS benchmarks and carry skip adders under timing variation to show its accuracy in computing the distribution of the true critical path delay of a circuit. In summary, compared to the previous approach of false path-aware statistical timing analysis, our timing analysis technique is able to reduce the accuracy error in the mean and standard deviation of true critical path delay distribution from 9.8% to 1.9% and from 29.4% to -3.4%, respectively.

Published in:

Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:31 ,  Issue: 11 )