News Column

Patent Issued for Variable Power Rail Design

August 7, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews journalists, a patent by the inventors Rashed, Mahbub (Cupertino, CA); Yuan, Lei (Cupertino, CA); Kye, Jongwook (Pleasanton, CA); Venkatesan, Suresh (Saratoga Springs, NY), filed on April 16, 2013, was published online on July 22, 2014.

The assignee for this patent, patent number 8789000, is GLOBALFOUNDRIES Inc. (Grand Cayman, KY).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "As the trend in semiconductors continues towards reduced critical dimensions, integrated circuits involving millions of transistors on a single chip have become commonplace. Due to the large number of devices on a single chip, an entire industry has evolved specifically to supply the semiconductor industry with software and hardware tools to automate much of the process of integrated circuit design.

"Design automation tools are computer-based tools that assist through automation of procedures that would otherwise be performed manually. Simulation of proposed design functionality and synthesis of integrated circuit logic and layout are two examples.

"An integrated circuit may implement logic functions that are a combination of various standard cells. A crucial step in completing the circuit design is typically a global routing step, which is an attempt to logically determine a path for each interconnection between cells in the entire design. Routing decisions are made based on the available avenues formed by the current placement of circuit elements and/or blocks, and are assigned in consideration of various costs, also referred to herein as constraints (e.g., to incur the shortest total length of interconnect lines between the connectors). Once the global router has assigned the general flow of interconnect lines, a detailed router attempts to make the interconnect lines fit the assignments made by the global router.

"As more complicated designs are developed to achieve higher performance and higher reliability as well as efficient chip scaling, the demands placed on routing tools increase. It is therefore desirable to have improvements in routing for integrated circuit design."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "A first aspect of the present invention provides a method for designing an integrated circuit, comprising: obtaining a first standard cell library; obtaining a second standard cell library, wherein the first standard cell library and second standard cell library are logically equivalent, and wherein one of the first standard cell library and second standard cell library are of an M2PR type and another of the first standard cell library and second standard cell library are of an M2PRE type; placing cells from the first standard cell library in an integrated circuit design embodiment; performing a first routing using the placed cells from the first standard cell library; identifying standard cells for replacement; replacing the identified standard cells with standard cells from the second standard cell library; and performing a second routing using the placed cells from both the first standard cell library and second standard cell library.

"A second aspect of the present invention provides a system for designing an integrated circuit, comprising one or more processors coupled to non-transitory memory containing machine instructions, that when executed by the one or more processors, perform the functions of: obtaining a first standard cell library; obtaining a second standard cell library, wherein the first standard cell library and second standard cell library are logically equivalent, and wherein one of the first standard cell library and second standard cell library are of an M2PR type and another of the first standard cell library and second standard cell library are of an M2PRE type; placing cells from the first standard cell library in an integrated circuit design embodiment; performing a first routing using the placed cells from the first standard cell library; identifying standard cells for replacement; replacing the identified standard cells with standard cells from the second standard cell library; and performing a second routing using the placed cells from both the first standard cell library and second standard cell library.

"A third aspect of the present invention provides a computer program product embodied in a non-transitory computer-readable medium for designing an integrated circuit, comprising: instructions for obtaining a first standard cell library; instructions for obtaining a second standard cell library, wherein the first standard cell library and second standard cell library are logically equivalent, and wherein one of the first standard cell library and second standard cell library are of an M2PR type and another of the first standard cell library and second standard cell library are of an M2PRE type; instructions for placing cells from the first standard cell library in an integrated circuit design embodiment; instructions for performing a first routing using the placed cells from the first standard cell library; instructions for identifying standard cells for replacement; instructions for replacing the identified cells with cells from the second cell library; and instructions for performing a second routing using the placed cells from both the first standard cell library and second standard cell library."

For more information, see this patent: Rashed, Mahbub; Yuan, Lei; Kye, Jongwook; Venkatesan, Suresh. Variable Power Rail Design. U.S. Patent Number 8789000, filed April 16, 2013, and published online on July 22, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8789000.PN.&OS=PN/8789000RS=PN/8789000

Keywords for this news article include: GLOBALFOUNDRIES Inc.

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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