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Lecture-3
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Design Styles
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Design Styles

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Design
Issues
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Performance

Area

Cost

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Design Styles

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Full Custom

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Standard Cell

Gate Array

EEE588 Digital IC Design -VLSI


DIVISION-2010 FALL

FPGA

Full Custom Design Style

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This style involves the design of every component from scratch.

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This method is followed if there are no libraries available.

All the mask layers are customized.

Very expensive in terms of effort and cost

High Performance and speed.


Time to market is very high.

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Example Back

EEE588 Digital IC Design -VLSI


DIVISION-2010 FALL

Standard Cell Design Style

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Allows the use of standard cells defined in the cell library .

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Each standard cell in the cell library is constructed using full custom
design style.

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This library contains hundreds of different logic cells like AND,OR, etc.

We can change the transistor size in a standard cell to optimize the cell
for speed and performance.

All Mask layers are customized.

Helps in reduced design times.

CAD tools are used to choose blocks and interconnect them.

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Example Back
EEE588 Digital IC Design -VLSI
DIVISION-2010 FALL

Gate Array Design Style

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1.

Transistors are pre defined on the silicon wafer. This predefined pattern

2.

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of transistors on a gate array is the base array.

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The designer chooses from the gate array library of pre designed logic
cells. These cells are called as Macros.

3.

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The transistor size cannot be changed to optimize the cell for speed and
area.

4.

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There are 3 different types i) Channeled ii) channel less iii) Structured.

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Example Back

EEE588 Digital IC Design -VLSI


DIVISION-2010 FALL

FPGA Field Programmable Gate Array


1.

The core is the regular array of programmable basic logic cells that can

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implement combinational as well as sequential logic. These cells are

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called as CLB s.

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2.

A programmable interconnects surrounds these basic logic cells.

3.

Programmable I/O cells surround the core.

4.

None of the mask layers are customized.

5.

Design takes only few hours.

6.

Used Mainly for circuit prototyping.

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EEE588 Digital IC Design -VLSI
DIVISION-2010 FALL

Example Back

Example

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Back
EEE588 Digital IC Design -VLSI
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Example
N Well

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VDD

Cell height 12 metal tracks


Metal track is approx. 3 + 3
Pitch =
repetitive distance between objects

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Cell height is 12 pitch

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In

Out

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Cell boundary

GND

Rails ~10
Standard Cell - Inverter

EEE588 Digital IC Design -VLSI


DIVISION-2010 FALL

Example

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Back
EEE588 Digital IC Design -VLSI
DIVISION-2010 FALL

Gate Array, Semi-Custom, and Full-Custom ICs


VLSI Technology
Gate Array

Standard Cell

Chip Area Ratios:


3:2:1

Full Custom

EEE588 Digital IC Design -VLSI


DIVISION-2010 FALL

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Which is Better
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Comparison of design styles


Full
Custom

Standard
Cell

Gate array FPGA

Variable

Fixed

Fixed

Fixed

Variable

Variable

Fixed

Programmabl
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Cell Placement

Variable

Variable

Fixed

Fixed

Inter
Connections

Variable

Variable

Variable

Programmabl
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Packaging
Density

Best

Moderate

Poor

Very Poor

Unit Cost in
Large Quantities

Very Low

Moderate

High

Very High

Unit Cost in
Small Quantities

Very High

High

Moderate

Very Low

Cell size

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Cell Type

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DIVISION-2010 FALL

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Comparison of design styles contd

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Design and
Simulation
Total Area

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Full
Custom

Standard
Cell

Gate array

FPGA

Complex

Moderate

Moderate

Very Easy

Less

Moderate

Moderate

Very High

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Performance Best
and Speed

Better

Good

Average

Time to
Market

Very High

High

Moderate

Very Less

Modifying
the Design

Very
Difficult

Easy

Very Easy

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Difficult

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DIVISION-2010 FALL