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Buffer insertion for noise and delay optimization

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3 Author(s)
Alpert, C.J. ; IBM Austin Res. Lab., TX, USA ; Devgan, A. ; Quay, S.T.

Interconnect-driven optimization is an increasingly important step in high-performance design. Algorithms for buffer insertion have been successfully utilized to reduce delay in global interconnect paths; however, existing techniques only optimize delay and timing slack, With the continually increasing ratio of coupling capacitance to total capacitance and the use of aggressive dynamic logic circuit families, noise analysis and avoidance is becoming a major design bottleneck. Hence, timing and noise must be simultaneously optimized to achieve maximum performance. This paper presents comprehensive buffer insertion techniques for noise and delay optimization. Three algorithms are presented, the first for noise avoidance for single sink trees, the second for avoidance for multiple sink trees, and the last for simultaneous noise and delay optimization. We prove the optimality of each algorithm (under various assumptions) and present other theoretical results as well. We ran experiments on a high-performance microprocessor design and show that our approach fixes all noise violations, Our approach was separately verified by a detailed, simulation-based noise analysis tool. Further, we show that optimizing delay alone cannot fix all of the noise violations and that the performance penalty induced by optimizing both delay and noise as opposed to only delay is less than 2%

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Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 11 )