doi: 10.7873/DATE.2015.0294

Statistical Library Characterization using Belief Propagation across Multiple Technology Nodes

Li Yu1,a, Sharad Saxena2, Christopher Hess2, Ibrahim (Abe) M. Elfadel3, Dimitri Antoniadis1 and Duane Boning1

1Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.

2PDF Solutions, USA

3Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, UAE


In this paper, we propose a novel flow to enable computationally efficient statistical characterization of delay and slew in standard cell libraries. The distinguishing feature of the proposed method is the usage of a limited combination of output capacitance, input slew rate and supply voltage for the extraction of statistical timing metrics of an individual logic gate. The efficiency of the proposed flow stems from the introduction of a novel, ultra-compact, nonlinear, analytical timing model, having only four universal regression parameters. This novel model facilitates the use of maximum-a-posteriori belief propagation to learn the prior parameter distribution for the parameters of the target technology from past characterizations of library cells belonging to various other technologies, including older ones. The framework then utilises Bayesian inference to extract the new timing model parameters using an ultra-small set of additional timing measurements from the target technology. The proposed method is validated and benchmarked on several production-level cell libraries including a state-of-the-art 14-nm technology node and a variation-aware, compact transistor model. For the same accuracy as the conventional lookup-table approach, this new method achieves at least 15x reduction in simulation runs.

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