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VLSI Design
Volume 10 (2000), Issue 3, Pages 249-263

An Edge-endpoint-based Configurable Hardware Architecture for VLSI Layout Design Rule Checking

1Department of Electrical Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton 08544, NJ, USA
2NEC CCRL, Princeton 08540, NJ, USA

Received 1 February 1999; Accepted 1 October 1999

Copyright © 2000 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.


Previous efforts to build hardware accelerators for VLSI layout Design Rule Checking (DRC) were hobbled by the fact that it is often impractical to build a different rulechecking ASIC each time design rules or fabrication processes change. In this paper, we propose a configurable hardware approach to DRC. It can garner impressive speedups over software approaches, while retaining the flexibility needed to change the rule checker as rules or processes change.

Our work proposes an edge-endpoints-based method for performing Manhattan geometry checking and a general scalable architecture for DRC. We then demonstrate our approach by applying this architecture to a set of design rules for MOSIS SCN4N_SUB process. We have implemented several design rule checks within a single Xilinx XC4013 FPGA and demonstrated overall speedups in excess of 25X over software methods. We have used a Compaq Pamette board to do the hardware prototyping and have achieved a clock rate of 33 MHz.