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Entering the Third Epoch of EDA

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Max The Magnificent
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re: Entering the Third Epoch of EDA
Max The Magnificent   3/1/2012 11:02:53 PM
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Maybe not in the early days of Epoch #2 .... but my understanding is that this is common practice now at the end of Epoch #2 .... but that it will become more and more problematical to make it work for next-gen geometries ... hence the need for something new like Epoch #3

Max The Magnificent
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re: Entering the Third Epoch of EDA
Max The Magnificent   3/1/2012 11:00:12 PM
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signoff engines have traditionally been computationally more intensive, which means they give more accurate results but take more time and consume more computational resources, so they were left till the end of the design and implementation process … but the problem is that now there can be a disconnect between the simpler engines used for design and implementation and the more sophisticated signoff engines. This disconnect caused problems with converging on a signed off solution. Designs at the latest technology nodes are becoming so complex that it’s necessary to use sign-off quality engines throughout the design and implementation process. But this required two things. First that the sign off engines were enhanced so that they could run much faster (using a variety of techniques including multi-cores, multi-threads, distributed processing, etc. The second is that they are now tightly embedded into the main environment – not called as an “afterthought” using an API

dagman
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re: Entering the Third Epoch of EDA
dagman   3/1/2012 7:39:35 PM
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In Epoch #2, we typically didn't use sign-off counterparts in the implementation flow otherwise we would have slowed down the overall physical design process. For example, you might have an implementation mode or signoff mode option to parasitic extraction available in the place and route toolset but most of the time you would run with the implementation mode option to save runtime and to help diagnose other issues with the design (i.e. bad floorplan, placement). Only when you were close to final implementation would you think about turning on signoff extraction. For STA, sometimes there are specific timing reports and analysis that needs to be done with a signoff tool. These types of reports or analysis are not typically done in the place and route implementation flow. I guess the point is there are times when the implementation flow goes through many revisions due to new code or new physical floorplans/placement and you don't slow down the process with signoff tools until absolutely necessary (or sometimes not at all with proper margins).

chipchap42
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re: Entering the Third Epoch of EDA
chipchap42   3/1/2012 5:42:58 PM
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One of Behrooz's key statements seems to be that "One of the legacies of Epoch #2 is that implementation engines such as Parasitic Extraction and Static Timing Analysis (STA) are different to their sign-off counterparts." But he doesn't explain the reasoning. Do people agree with this statement?

Max The Magnificent
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re: Entering the Third Epoch of EDA
Max The Magnificent   2/28/2012 4:04:32 PM
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I agree -- this is a different take on things, but it does make a lot of sense -- I'll be interested to watch developments over the next couple of years

BrianBailey
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re: Entering the Third Epoch of EDA
BrianBailey   2/27/2012 7:22:44 PM
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I have to admit that I had never thought about it in terms of program construction before. I had, like most people probably, always thought about abstraction layers (transistor, gate, RTL, TLM, ESL...) and even fabrication technologies(board, chip, SoC, 3D IC...). That makes this an interesting perspective for me. What do you think?

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