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A multilevel interconnect architecture design methodology that optimizes the interconnect cross-sectional dimensions of each metal layer is introduced that reduces logic macrocell area, cycle time, power consumption or number of metal layers. The predictive capability of this methodology, which is based on a stochastic wiring distribution, provides insight into defining the process technology parameters for current and future generations of microprocessors and application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). Using this methodology on an ASIC logic macrocell case study for the 100 nm technology generation, the optimized n-tier multilevel interconnect architecture reduces macrocell area by 32%, cycle time by 16% or number of wiring tracks required on the topmost tier by 62% compared to a conventional design where pitches are doubled for every successive pair of levels. A new repeater insertion methodology is also described that further enhances gigascale integration (GSI) system performance. By using repeaters, a further reduction of 70% in macrocell area, 18% in cycle time, 25% in number of metal levels or 44% in power dissipation is achieved, when compared to an n-tier design without repeaters. The key distinguishing feature of the methodology is its comprehensive framework that simultaneously solves two distinct problems-optimal wire sizing and wiring layer assignment-using independent constraints on maximum repeater area for efficient design space exploration to optimize the area, power, frequency, and metal levels of a GSI logic megacell.
Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:9 , Issue: 6 )
Date of Publication: Dec. 2001