Hardware accelerators for VLSI global routing

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Elghazali, Mahdi

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University of Guelph

Abstract

This thesis investigates three different approaches to enhance the performance of the global routing step in the physical design process. The first approach is based on a hardware/software co-design strategy, while the second is a custom hardware implementation using Handel-C [1]. An application specific instruction implementation is also implemented and investigated. This approach targets the Tensilica configurable processor. The experimental results show that the three approaches produce the same quality solutions as the pure-software implementation. However, the co-design approach achieves an average speedup of 4.3x over the pure-software based approach, while the custom hardware approach achieves an average speed up of 3.9x. The configurable approach obtained an average speedup of 33.6x over the pure software, while achieving a speedup of 7.81x and 8.61x over the hardware/software co-design and the custom hardware respectively.

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Keywords

performance, global routing step, physical design process, hardware/software co-design strategy, custom hardware implementation, Handel-C [1], application specific instruction implementation, Tensilica configurable processor

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