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An analysis of the wire-load model uncertainty problem

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4 Author(s)
Gopalakrishnan, P. ; Monterey Design Syst. Inc, Sunnyvale, CA, USA ; Odabasioglu, A. ; Pileggi, L. ; Raje, S.

Traditional integrated-circuit (IC) design methodologies have used wire-load models during logic synthesis to estimate the expected impact of the metal wiring on the gate delays. These models are based on wire-length statistics from legacy designs to facilitate a top-down IC design flow process. Recently, there has been increased concern regarding the efficacy of wire-load models as deep-submicrometer (DSM) interconnect parasitics begin to dominate the delay of digital IC logic gates. Some technology projections (Sylvester and Keutzer, 1998) have suggested that wire-load models will remain effective to block sizes on the order of 50 000 gates. This suggests that existing top-down synthesis methodologies will not have to be changed substantially since this is approximately the maximum size for which logic synthesis is effective. However, our analyses on production designs show that the problem is not quite so straightforward and the efficacy of synthesis using wire-load models depends upon technology data as well as specific characteristics of the design and the granularity of available physical information. We analyze these effects and dependencies in detail in this paper and draw some conclusions regarding the future challenges associated with top-down IC design and block synthesis, in particular, in the DSM design era

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Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 1 )