Constraints Management

Approaches and techniques for preserving the intent of timing constraints throughout the design flow.


As the complexity of designs has scaled, the need to provide accurate physical constraints like timing, area, power and port locations has become increasingly important. Of these, timing constraints are the most difficult to provide since they depend on many external factors like floor planning, routing and integration with other blocks. Properly created timing constraints not only reduce the total effort to achieve timing closure, but also reduce the number of iterations to achieve that goal. These constraints undergo several refinements as they are pushed through the design flow from RTL to post layout. This requires that constraints be managed at each step and properly handed off to the next step to ensure that design intent is preserved. If constraints are not managed properly, unnecessary iterations between front-end and back-end groups occur, and the time to market and end unit cost is impacted.

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