A Path To Increase Cell Utilization Rate And Decrease Routing Congestion In Chip Design Floorplanning

What do chip floorplanning and city planning have in common? As it turns out, quite a lot. This was the premise for an award-winning talk given by MediaTek at this year’s Synopsys User Group (SNUG) in Taiwan. Urban city development was used as an example to understand how utilization rate (UR) and congestion relate to chip planning. UR was defined in the example as population density while... » read more

Ensuring Memory Reliability Throughout the Silicon Lifecycle

By Anand Thiruvengadam and Guy Cortez Memories are everywhere in modern electronics. Discrete memory chips account for much of the space on printed circuit boards (PCBs). Embedded memories consume much of the floorplan in system-on-chip (SoC) devices. Many multi-die chip configurations, including 2.5D/3DIC devices, are driven by the need for faster memory access. Designing and verifying memo... » read more

A graph placement methodology for fast chip design

Abstract "Chip floorplanning is the engineering task of designing the physical layout of a computer chip. Despite five decades of research1, chip floorplanning has defied automation, requiring months of intense effort by physical design engineers to produce manufacturable layouts. Here we present a deep reinforcement learning approach to chip floorplanning. In under six hours, our method autom... » read more

NoC Experiences From The Trenches

Network-on-chip (NoC) interconnect as an alternative to traditional crossbars is already well-proven, but there are still plenty of design teams on the cusp of a transition or who maybe do not yet see a need for a change. As with a switch to any new technology, the first hurdles are often simply misconceptions. When new users first evaluate any new technology, they often make the mistake of att... » read more

PowerPlanningDL: Reliability-Aware Framework for On-Chip Power Grid Design using Deep Learning

Academic research paper from Dept. of CSE, IIT Guwahatim, India. Abstract: "With the increase in the complexity of chip designs, VLSI physical design has become a time-consuming task, which is an iterative design process. Power planning is that part of the floorplanning in VLSI physical design where power grid networks are designed in order to provide adequate power to all the underlying ... » read more

Can Machine Learning Chips Help Develop Better Tools With Machine Learning?

As we continue to be bombarded with AI- and machine learning-themed presentations at industry conferences, an ex-colleague told me that he is sick of seeing an outline of the human head with a processor in place of the brain. If you are a chip architect trying to build one of these data-centric architecture chips for machine learning or AI (as opposed to the compute-centric chips, which you pro... » read more

The Ultimate Shift Left

Floorplanning is becoming much more difficult due to a combination of factors—increased complexity of the power delivery network, lengthening of clock trees, rising levels of communication, and greater connectedness of [getkc id="81" kc_name="SoC"]s coupled with highly constrained routing resources. The goal of floorplanning is to determine optimal placement of blocks on a die. But connect... » read more

How High-Level Synthesis Was Used to Develop An Image-Processing IP Design From C++ Source Code

Imagine working long and hard on a design, only to learn that you need to add new (and more complex) functionality a few months before your targeted tapeout. How can you deliver the performance and capabilities expected in the same timeframe? For Bosch, high-level synthesis (HLS) provided the solution. In this paper, we will discuss how HLS technology enabled the team to meet an aggressive sche... » read more

Power Confounds, Challenges

I have to admit I’m always surprised to hear that design teams are not using tools to the fullest extent possible, leaving valuable power saving opportunities on the table, until I remember how daunting it is to get it all right without tremendous experience, expertise, and the right tools. I’m also always fascinated to learn about less-obvious effects from power. To this point, Aveek... » read more

Next-Generation RTL Floorplanning

Mentor’s physical RTL synthesis tools, including RealTime Designer and next-generation products, have the unique technology to pull placement ahead of synthesis and address the need for RTL floorplanning. Mentor’s physical RTL synthesis tools offer higher capacity, faster runtimes, optimal QoR, and physical awareness during RTL synthesis by optimizing at a higher level of abstraction and u... » read more

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