Accurate clock mesh sizing via sequential quadraticprogramming
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Clock mesh is widely used in microprocessor designs for achieving low clock skew and high variation tolerance. Clock mesh optimization is a very difficult problem because it has highly-connected structure and requires accurate delay models which are computationally expensive. Existing methods on clock network optimization are either restricted to clock trees, which are easy to be separated into smaller problems, or naive heuristics based on crude delay models. In this paper, we propose a clock mesh sizing algorithm which is aimed to minimize mesh wire area with consideration of clock skew constraints. This algorithm is a systematic solution search through rigorous Sequential Quadratic Programming (SQP). The SQP is guided by an efficient adjoint sensitivity analysis which has near-SPICE-level accuracy and faster-than-SPICE speed. Experimental results on various benchmark circuits indicate that our algorithm leads to significant wire area reduction while maintaining low clock skew. Copyright 2010 ACM.
author list (cited authors)
Mekala, V. R., Liu, Y., Ye, X., Hu, J., & Li, P.