Automatic Place and Route (APR) tools have been around since the 1980s for IC design teams to use, and before that routing was done manually by very patient layout designers. Initially the big IDMs had their own internal CAD groups coding APR tools in house, but eventually the commercial EDA market picked up this automation area,… Read More
Low power physical design in the age of FinFETs
Low power is now a goal for most digital circuit designs. This is to reduce costs for packaging, cooling, and electricity; to increase battery life; and to improve performance without overheating. I talked to the experts on physical design for ultra-low power at Mentor Graphics recently about the challenges to P&R tools and… Read More
FinFET & Multi-patterning Need Special P&R Handling
I think by now a lot has been said about the necessity of multi-patterning at advanced technology nodes with extremely low feature size such as 20nm, because lithography using 193nm wavelength of light makes printing and manufacturing of semiconductor design very difficult. The multi-patterning is a novel semiconductor manufacturing… Read More
Can Your Router Handle 28 nm?
With the adoption of the 32/28 nm process node, some significant new challenges in digital routing arise—including complex design rule checking (DRC) and design for manufacturing (DFM) rules, increasing rule counts, very large (1 billion transistor) designs. To meet quality, time-to-market, and cost targets, design teams… Read More
Clocks Will Be Clocks
Clock designers are an enigma. Clock designers in general are die hard Star Wars fans, own vintage Porsches that leak oil by the gallon, usually have lava lamps in their offices/cubicles, wear fancy leather jackets in the peak of summer, and have like-minded clock designers as best lunch buddies. … Read More
Why Only MV When You Can MC, MM & MV?
Resistance is futile. I recently caved and switched to an iPhone after having been a loyal Google phone user for more than year. Apart from the coolness factor, my main motivation was corporate mail support that was absent in Gphone, plus the fact that I got the iPhone for free when my wife upgraded hers. The difference is day and night… Read More