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VLSI Design
Volume 5 (1997), Issue 2, Pages 167-182

Module Selection in Microarchitectural Synthesis for Multiple Critical Constraint Satisfaction

Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA

Copyright © 1997 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Accurate design descriptions during synthesis allow efficient use of resources. The appropriate use of distinct implementations of RTL operators helps generate optimal VLSI designs. The system presented here utilizes libraries composed of multiple modules with identical functionality, but distinct performance and area characteristics. Such libraries allow the generation of an accurate estimate of the area and delay of the final design during synthesis. Full use of the module selection capability is possible by allowing the user to specify a total area limit rather than a detailed allocation. Consequently, tradeoffs between different allocations can be fully explored. Scheduling, module selection, and allocation are performed simultaneously to achieve optimal use of area and delay, and to facilitate the incorporation of lower level design considerations into behavioral synthesis. Synthesis decisions are made in a time-constrained and area-constrained fashion, by using both constraints to identify and avoid infeasible design possibilities. Module selection, scheduling, and allocation for pipelined designs is also implemented. Experimental results show that the use of module selection and time-and-area-constrained synthesis results in an area/delay design curve which is superior to the results of traditional systems.