Integrated Placement and Skew Optimization for Rotary Clocking
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The clock distribution network is a key component on any synchronous VLSI design. As techonology moves into the nanometer era, innovative clocking techniques are required to solve the power dissipation and variability issues. Rotary clocking is a novel technique which employs unterminated rings formed by differential transmission lines to save power and reduce skew variability. Despite its appealing advantages, rotary clocking requires latch locations to match pre-designed clock skew on rotary clock rings. This requirement is a difficult chicken-and-egg problem which prevents its wide application. In this work, we proposed an integrated placement and skew scheduling methodology to break this hurdle, making rotary clocking compatible with practical design flows. A network flow based latch assignment algorithm and a cost-driven skew optimization algorithm are developed. Experiments show that our method can generate chip placements which satisfy the unique requirements of rotary clocks, without sacrificing design quality. By enabling concurrent clock network and placement design, our method can also be applied in other clocking methodologies as well.
author list (cited authors)
Venkataraman, G., Hu, J., & Liu, F. Y.