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EE 382V Fall 2008

VLSI Physical Design Automation

Lecture 2. Review of Device/VLSI/Algorithm

Prof. David Pan


dpan@ece.utexas.edu
Office: ACES 5.434

11/20/08 1
Objective of this Lecture
❁ To review the materials used in fabrication of VLSI
devices.
❁ To review the structure of devices and process
involved in fabricating different types of VLSI circuits
❁ To review the basic algorithm concepts
❁ To level-set everyone so that we can get into serious
Physical Design topics in the next lecture

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Wafer, Die and Package

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Fabrication Materials

copper

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Electron and Holes
Silicon
atom

Free
Electron

+Ion

Hole
http://researchweb.watson.ibm.com/resources/press/strainedsilicon/

❁ Holes travel as do electrons


❁ Material can be enriched in holes or electrons by introducing impurities
❁ Holes in crystals can be enriched by embedding some boron atoms
❁ Electrons in crystals can be enriched by embedding phosphorus atoms
❁ Recent breakthroughs: strained silicon (IBM) to stretch silicon such that
electrons experience less resistance and flow up to 70% faster
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The Three Regions in a n-p Junction
Carrier-depletion
zone

Electron
Interface Hole rich
rich

Formation of a Diffused Junction


Silicon dioxide
insulator
Mask
Phosphorous
Depletion
zone

Substrate
(a) (b) (c)

A mask is a specification of geometric shapes that need to


be created on a certain layer. Masks are used to create a
specific patterns of each material in a sequential manner
and create a complex pattern of several layers

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A nMOS Transistor
Enhancement Mode

Source Gate Drain Channel

(a) (b)
Gate

Source Drain

Vg<Vt Vg≥Vt

Vs Vd Vs Vd

(c)

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Fabrication of VLSI Circuits
1. Create
2. Define
3. Etch Silicon wafers

Material formation by deposition,


diffusion or implantation

Pattern definition by
photolithography

Etch

8 to 10 iterations

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Photolithographic Process
UV Radiation
Silicon dioxide

Photoresist (Negative )

Silicon

Photo mask with


Shadow of
opaque feature
mask feature
(a) (b)

Hardened
Photoresist

Silicon dioxide
(c)
(d) etched where
Photoresist exposed
stripped

(e)

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Details of Fabrication Processes
Crystal growth & wafer preparation

Epitaxy

Dielectric & polysilicon film deposition

Oxidation

Diffusion

Ion implantation

Lithography

Etching

Packaging

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Basic Design Rules
1. Size Rules
2. Separation Rules
3. Overlap Rules

Basic nMOS Design Rules


Diffusion Region Width 2λ
Polysilicon Region Width 2λ
Diffusion-Diffusion Spacing 3λ
Poly-Poly Spacing 2λ
Polysilicon Gate Extension 2λ
Contact Extension λ
Metal Width

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Size and Separation Rules

Diffusion Poly

Metal

Incorrectly and Correctly Formed Channels


Diffusion
Channel
Short

Poly

Incorrectly formed Correctly formed

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Overlap Rules for Contact cuts

(a) (b)

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Layout of Basic Devices

❁nMOS Inverter
❁CMOS Inverter
❁nMOS NAND Gate
❁CMOS NAND Gate
❁nMOS NOR Gate
❁CMOS NOR Gate

Complicated devices are constructed by using basic devices

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A CMOS Inverter

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A CMOS NAND Gate

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A CMOS NOR Gate

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Additional Fabrication Factors

❁ Scaling
❁ Parasitic Effects
❁ Yield Statistics and Fabrication Costs
❁ Delay Computation
❁ Noise and Crosstalk
❁ Power Dissipation

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Mini Summary
❁ The three types of materials are insulators, conductors and
semiconductors
❁ A VLSI chip consists of several layers of different materials on
a silicon wafer.
❁ Each layer is defined by a mask
❁ VLSI fabrication process patterns each layer using a mask
❁ Complex VLSI circuits can be developed using basic VLSI
devices
❁ Design rules must be followed to allow proper fabrication
❁ Several factors such as scaling, parasitic effects, yield
statistics and fabrication costs, delay computation, noise and
crosstalk and power dissipation play a key role in fabrication
of VLSI chips

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Design Styles

Complexity of
VLSI circuits

Performance Size Cost Market time

Different design styles

Full custom Standard Cell Gate Array FPGA

Cost, Flexibility, Performance

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Full Custom Design Style
Pad Metal Via Metal 2

Data Path
I/O
PLA

ROM/RAM

Random logic
A/D Converter

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Standard Cell Design Style
Cell Feedthrough
VDD Metal 1 Metal 2 GND

D C C B

A C C

D C D B

C C C B

Cell A Cell B

Cell C Cell D Feedthrough cell

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Gate Array Design Style
A
C
B

VDD Metal1 Metal2

Structured ASICs (hot topics nowadays) are essentially gate array


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FPGA Design Style

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Field-Programmable Gate-Arrays (FPGAs)

❁ Programmable logic
❁ Programmable interconnects
❁ Programmable inputs/outputs

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Comparisons of Design Styles

style

full-custom standard cell gate array FPGA


cell size variable fixed height * fixed fixed
cell type variable variable fixed programmable
cell placement variable in row fixed fixed
interconnections variable variable variable programmable

* uneven height cells are also used

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Comparisons of Design Styles

style

full-custom standard cell gate array FPGA


compact
Area compact moderate large
to moderate

Performance high moderate low


high
to moderate

Fabrication ALL ALL routing none


layers layers

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Packaging Styles

Packaging

Printed Circuit Board Multi-Chip Module Wafer Scale Integration


PCB MCM WSI (SOC)

Area

Performance, cost

The increasing complexity and density of the semiconductor devices


are driving the development of more advanced VLSI packaging and
interconnection approaches.

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History of VLSI Layout Tools
Year Design Tools
1950 - 1965 Manual Design

1965 - 1975 Layout editors


Automatic routers( for PCB)
Efficient partitioning algorithm

1975 - 1985 Automatic placement tools


Well Defined phases of design of circuits
Significant theoretical development in all phases

1985 – 1995 Performance driven placement and routing tools


Parallel algorithms for physical design
Significant development in underlying graph theory
Combinatorial optimization problems for layout

1995 – 2002 Interconnect layout optimization, Interconnect-


centric design, physical-logical codesign

2002 - present Physical synthesis with more vertical integration


for design closure (timing, noise, power, P/G/clock,
manufacturability)

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Now You Need Algorithms
• To put devices/interconnects together into VLSI chips
• Fundamental questions: How do you do it smartly?
• Definition of algorithm in a board sense: A step-by-
step procedure for solving a problem. Examples:
– Cooking a dish
– Making a phone call
– Sorting a hand of cards
• Definition for computational problem: A well-defined
computational procedure that takes some value as
input and produces some value as output

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Example: Selection Sort
• Input: An array of n numbers D[1]…D[n].
• Output: An array of n numbers E[1]…E[n] such that
E[1]≥E[2]≥ … ≥E[n].

• Algorithm:
1. For i from 1 to n do
2. Select the largest remaining no. from D[1..n].
3. Put that number into E[i].

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Some Algorithm Design Techniques
• Greedy
• Divide and Conquer
• Dynamic Programming
• Network Flow
• Mathematical Programming (e.g., linear programming,
integer linear programming)

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Reduction
• Idea: If I can solve problem A, and if problem B can be
transformed into an instance of problem A, then I can
solve problem B by reducing problem B to problem A
and then solve the corresponding problem A.
• Example:
– Problem A: Sorting
– Problem B: Given n numbers, find the i-th largest numbers.

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Analysis of Algorithm
• There can be many different algorithms to solve the
same problem.
• Need some way to compare 2 algorithms.
• Usually the run time is the criteria used.
• However, difficult to compare since algorithms may be
implemented in different machines, use different
languages, etc.
• Also, run time is input-dependent. Which input to use?
• Big-O notation is used.

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Big-O Notation
• Consider run time for the worst input
=> upper bound on run time.
• Express run time as a function input size n.
• Interested in the run time for large inputs.
• Therefore, interested in the growth rate.
• Ignore multiplicative constant.
• Ignore lower order terms.

• 3n2+6n+2.7 is O(n2).
• n1.1+10000000000n is O(n1.1).
• n1.1 is O(n2).

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Effect of Multiplicative Constant
800
700
n2
600
Run time

500
400
10n
300
200
100
0
0 10 20 n
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Growth Rates of some Functions
O ( log n ) < O (log2 n ) < O ( n ) < O( n)

Polynomial
Functions
< O ( n log n ) < O ( n log2 n ) < O ( n1.5 ) < O ( n 2 )
< O (n 3 ) < O (n 4 )

O ( n c ) = O ( 2 c log n ) for any constant c


< O (n ) = O (2 )

Exponential
log2 n

Functions
log n

< O ( 2 ) < O (3 ) < O ( 4 )


n n n

< O ( n!) < O ( n )


n

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Problem of Exponential Function
• Consider 2n, value doubled when n is increased by 1.
n 2n 1µs x 2n
10 103 0.001 s
20 106 1s
30 109 16.7 mins
40 1012 11.6 days
50 1015 31.7 years
60 1018 31710 years

• If you borrow $10 from a credit card with APR 18%, after
40 yrs, you will own $12700!
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NP-Complete
• The class NP-Complete is the set of problems which
we believe there is no polynomial time algorithms.
• Therefore, it is a class of hard problems.
• NP-Hard is another class of problems containing the
class NP-Complete.
• If we know a problem is in NP-Complete or NP-Hard,
there is no hope to solve it efficiently.

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Solution Type of Algorithms
• Polynomial time algorithms
• Exponential time algorithms
• Special case algorithms
• Approximate algorithms
• Heuristic algorithms

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Before Next Class
• If you need to refresh your Algorithms:
– Introduction to Algorithms, Ch.1, 2
– Sherwani Ch. 4 to get a glimpse
• Don’t worry if you don’t totally remember or understand
• We will come back when we cover each physical design topic
• Circuit partitioning in the next few classes
– Sait & Youssef (SY) Ch.2
• Easier to follow
– Or Sherwani Ch.5
• More literature context

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Further Reading
• Details of Fabrication Processes
– www.infras.com/Tutorial/sld001.htm
– www.engr.sjsu.edu/~dparent/ee129/index.htm
– people.seas.harvard.edu/~jones/es154/lectures/lecture_4/pdfs/
upenn_pdfs/EE560_ICFab01.pdf
• Details of nMOS, pMOS operations
– www.cs.utah.edu/classes/cs6710/slides/cs6710-MOSx6.pdf
– users.ece.utexas.edu/~adnan/vlsi-05-backup/lec4MosEqns.ppt

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