RTL-aware dataflow-driven macro placement
Document typeConference report
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Rights accessOpen Access
When RTL designers define the hierarchy of a system, they exploit their knowledge about the conceptual abstractions devised during the design and the functional interactions between the logical components. This valuable information is often lost during physical synthesis. This paper proposes a novel multi-level approach for the macro placement problem of complex designs dominated by macro blocks, typically memories. By taking advantage of the hierarchy tree, the netlist is divided into blocks containing macros and standard cells, and their dataflow affinity is inferred considering the latency and flow width of their interaction. The layout is represented using slicing structures and generated with a top-down algorithm capable of handling blocks with both hard and soft components, aimed at wirelength minimization. These techniques have been applied to a set of large industrial circuits and compared against both a commercial floorplanner and handcrafted floorplans by expert back-end engineers. The proposed approach outperforms the commercial tool and produces solutions with similar quality to the best handcrafted floorplans. Therefore, the generated floorplans provide an excellent starting point for the physical design iterations and contribute to reduce turn-around time significantly.
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CitationVidal, A. [et al.]. RTL-aware dataflow-driven macro placement. A: Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference and Exhibition. "Proceedings of the 2019 Design, Automation & Test in Europe (DATE), 25-29 March 2019, Florence, Italy". Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2019, p. 186-191.
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