IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems

Sensitivity guided net weighting for placement-driven synthesis

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Net weighting is a key technique in timing-driven placement (TDP), which plays a crucial role for deep submiron very large scale integration of physical synthesis and timing closure. A popular way to assign net weight is based on its slack, such that the worst negative slack (WNS) of the entire circuit may be minimized. While WNS is an important optimization metric, another figure of merit (FOM), defined as the total slack difference compared to a certain slack threshold for all timing end points, is of equal importance to measure the overall timing closure result for highly complex modern application specific integrated circuitsand microprocessor designs. Moreover, to optimally assign net weight for timing closure, the effect of net weighting on timing should be carefully studied. In this paper, we perform a comprehensive analysis of the wirelength, slack, and FOM sensitivities to the net weight, and propose a new net weighting scheme based on those sensitivities. Such sensitivity analysis implicitly takes potential physical synthesis effect into consideration. The experiments on a set of industrial circuits show promising results for both stand-alone TDP and physical synthesis afterwards. © 2005 IEEE.