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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A new partitioning approach for layout synthesis from register-transfer netlists


Most of the IC today are described and documented using heiarchical netlists. In addition to gates, latches, and flip-flops, these netlists include sliceable register-transfer components such as registers, counters, adders, ALUs, shifters, register files, and multiplexers. Usually, these components are decomposed into basic gates, latches, and flip-flops, and are laid out using standard cells. The standard cell architecture requires excessive routing area, and does not exploit the bit-sliced nature of register-transfer components. In this paper, we present a new sliced-layout architecture to alleviate the preceding problems. We also describe partitioning algorithms that are used to generate the floorplan for this layout architecture. The partitioning algorithms not only select the best suited layout style for each component, but also consider critical paths, I/O pin locations, and connections between blocks. This approach improves the overall area utilization and minimizes the total wire length.

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