Towards a Reference Place and Route Flow for Academic Research
Keywords:Electronic Design Automation; Physical Design; Placement; Routing
Due to the complexity of contemporary circuits, physical synthesis has become a crucial step for achieving design closure. The placement of cells direct impacts the routing solution. For example, a region with a high cell density can lead to pin access issues in detailed routing. Therefore, small inefficiencies in the placement solution can be boosted during routing, which has a negative impact on design quality and convergence. Unfortunately, most academic research works evaluate the results only in the target step without considering the complete place and route flows. In this work, we experimentally explored different flows built up from academic placers and routers to find which one leads to the best overall results so that researchers can use them as a reference. In order to evaluate those flows, we used the ISPD 2018 and ISPD 2019 CAD Contest benchmarks, which are the most realistic academic benchmarks available with placement and routing information. Considering the evaluator reports, no combination of tools achieved the best result for all circuits. Nevertheless, the flow Contest placement + CUGR + TritonRoute achieved the best results in fifteen out of twenty benchmarks.
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