editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Chip Design Tweaker

Last-minute chip design changes are always unfortunate, whether right before cutting masks or, worse yet, after you get silicon back. Some major tool environments provide engineering change order (ECO) support, some don’t. But it’s always a less-than-perfect scenario: an ideal top-down flow would maintain the chain of refinement from the most abstract representation down to the final details. Making a change only at the low level breaks that.

But the practical fact is that, if you’ve spent weeks and months getting things just the way you want them – with the exception of those annoying issues you just found – you don’t want to risk undoing all that careful work by taking a trip back to the abstract level and repeating the flow.

So you grit your teeth and push a couple polygons or change some transistor characteristics at the lowest level and chalk it up to “you gotta do what you gotta do.”

A small company called Dorado is trying to help out with these last minute ECO tweaks with a slightly unfortunately-named tool called Tweaker. (I suppose it can stay up for days in a row, but hopefully it doesn’t suffer from unpredictability or a nasty crash after a few days…)

Tweaker is set up to automatically fix a number of issues automatically and more in a manually-guided manner. Its scope includes functional, timing, and power tweaks. Changes may be made at the RTL level, where they attempt to minimize the scope of any resultant changes, or at the physical level.

In my discussion with them at DAC, it seems that low-level physical tweaks can’t be automatically preserved in the face of, say, a synthesis change. For example, if you make a low-level change and then have to make a functional (RTL) tweak that affects the same cells, you’ll have to redo the low-level changes after the RTL tweak re-synthesizes. But a TCL script can be used, which should save time (assuming no name changes, etc.).

It can work pre-mask by trying to preserve the chip area or post-silicon by taking advantage of spare cells.

They’ve managed to convince TSMC of its value…

An important note, however: if you want to convince your boss to make this tool available for you, make sure to say, “I need Tweaker to make some quick design changes.” Not, “I need a tweaker to make some quick design changes.” Big difference.

14 thoughts on “Chip Design Tweaker”

  1. Pingback: read what he said
  2. Pingback: Togel Shenzen
  3. Pingback: DMPK
  4. Pingback: zdporn.com
  5. Pingback: pezevenk
  6. Pingback: kari satilir
  7. Pingback: hash
  8. Pingback: bandar judi
  9. Pingback: domino online
  10. Pingback: Cheap

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Jan 22, 2021
Amidst an ongoing worldwide pandemic, Samtec continues to connect with our communities. As a digital technology company, we understand the challenges and how uncertain times have been for everyone. In early 2020, Samtec Cares suspended its normal grant cycle and concentrated ...
Jan 22, 2021
I was recently introduced to the concept of a tray that quickly and easily attaches to your car'€™s steering wheel (not while you are driving, of course). What a good idea!...
Jan 22, 2021
This is my second post about this year's CES. The first was Consumer Electronics Show 2021: GM, Intel . AMD The second day of CES opened with Lisa Su, AMD's CEO, presenting. AMD announced new... [[ Click on the title to access the full blog on the Cadence Community...
Jan 20, 2021
Explore how EDA tools & proven IP accelerate the automotive design process and ensure compliance with Automotive Safety Integrity Levels & ISO requirements. The post How EDA Tools and IP Support Automotive Functional Safety Compliance appeared first on From Silicon...

featured paper

Overcoming Signal Integrity Challenges of 112G Connections on PCB

Sponsored by Cadence Design Systems

One big challenge with 112G SerDes is handling signal integrity (SI) issues. By the time the signal winds its way from the transmitter on one chip to packages, across traces on PCBs, through connectors or cables, and arrives at the receiver, the signal is very distorted, making it a challenge to recover the clock and data-bits of the information being transferred. Learn how to handle SI issues and ensure that data is faithfully transmitted with a very low bit error rate (BER).

Click here to download the whitepaper

featured chalk talk

The Wireless Member of the DARWIN Family

Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and Maxim Integrated

MCUs continue to evolve based on increasing demands from designers. We expect our microcontrollers to do more than ever - better security, more performance, lower power consumption - and we want it all for less money, of course. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Kris Ardis from Maxim Integrated about the new DARWIN line of low-power MCUs.

Click here for more information about Maxim Integrated MAX32665-MAX32668 UB Class Microcontroller