VLSI Placement Optimization Algorithms


  • Jucemar Monteiro Synopsys, Inc. - USA




EDA, Physical Optimization, Placement


Placement is a fundamental optimization step to compute cell locations. The quality of results in Clock Tree Synthesis (CTS) and routing stages is impacted by the placement solution. The placement optimization flow is split into (1)global placement, (2) legalization, and (3) detailed placement. In global placement, cell locations are computed to minimize total wire length subject to a maximum cell density threshold. The cell overlapping and cell alignment to site row boundaries are relaxed. In legalization, cells are placed in locations free of overlapping and aligned to site row boundaries. Legalization algorithms compute cell locations with minimized cell displacement. In detailed placement, objectives are optimized locally. Detailed placement algorithms iterate over one cell or a small set of cells. The traditional optimization objective is total wire length. Placement algorithms also address timing violations, routability, design rules, and so forth. The placement algorithms rely on heuristics and formal methods to compute optimized cell locations. Moreover, placement algorithms require models to address signal delay propagation, area density, routing congestion, hyper-edge nets, and so forth. In the literature, several algorithms have been presented to improve placement solutions. On the other hand, placement is a really challenging problem that continues to have space for further improvement and for innovative algorithms.






Special Issue on Electronic Design Automation