SANTA CRUZ, Calif. Demonstrating algorithmic improvements that could potentially enhance IC implementation tools, students from the University of Michigan and the University of California at Berkeley won a programming challenge at the International Workshop on Logic and Synthesis (IWLS) in Vail, Colorado Wednesday (June 7).
The programming challenge is the first such contest offered by the IWLS, and is sponsored by the IEEE Council on Electronic Design Automation (CEDA). The purpose is to foster a new open-source logic synthesis system that will provide the base for future comprehensive EDA tool flows.
All entries in the IWLS 2006 Implementation Challenge were EDA tools that run natively on the OpenAccess database and use the OA Gear package developed at Cadence Berkeley Labs. Targeted towards academic researchers, OA Gear is an open-source toolkit that extends the utility of the OpenAccess database.
Michigan students Kai-Hui Chang and David Papa demonstrated a 100-fold speedup over the logic simulation engine released previously with the OA Gear package. They leveraged this simulator for fast combinational equivalence checking, and developed a metric for gauging similarity between two logic circuits for use in incremental verification.
Berkeley students Qi Zhu and Nathan Kitchen described equivalence checking algorithms that can simplify circuits during bounded model checking. Kitchen's presentation suggested several improvements to OpenAccess and OA Gear, including more flexible interfaces, new features and new modules.
IWLS runs through Friday. Topics include logic synthesis, physical synthesis, high-level synthesis, IC physical design, verification, and variability. Several presentations address the connection between synthesis, equivalence checking, and fast logic simulation. An invited Thursday session on "new directions for logic synthesis" includes presentations on programming complex cellular systems, biological networks, and self-assembled building blocks for nanoscale materials.