Timing ECO optimization via Bézier curve smoothing and fixability identification.
ABSTRACT Due to the rapidly increasing design complexity in modern IC design, more and more timing failures are detected at late stages. Without deferring time-to-market, metal-only ECO is an economical technique to correct these late-found failures. Typically, a design undergoes many ECO runs in design houses; the usage of spare cells is of significant importance. Hence, in this paper, we aim at timing ECO using the least number of spare cells. We observe that a path with good timing is desired to be geometrically smooth. Different from negative slack and gate delay used in most of prior work, we propose a new metric of timing criticality-fixability-considering the smoothness of critical paths. To measure the smoothness of a path, we use Bézier curve as the golden path. Furthermore, in order to concurrently fix timing violations, we derive the dominance property to divide violated paths into independent segments. Based on Bézier curve smoothing, fixability identification, and the dominance property, we develop an efficient algorithm to fix violations. Compared with the state-of-the-art works, experimental results show that our algorithm not only effectively resolves all timing violations with few spare cells but also achieves 22.8X and 42.6X speedups.