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Demo: Automatic Floorplan Synthesis in Encounter

Comments(1)Filed under: Digital Implementation, Floorplanning, Encounter Digital Implementation System 8.1, MasterPlan

As an Applications Engineer, the first demonstrations you deliver of a new technology are always the most interesting.  The questions you receieve are all over the map and your skills in thinking on your feet are put to the test.  Personally, I really enjoy this learning phase and as I was putting together this screencast, I was reminded of the first demo I ever gave of First Encounter back in 2001.  The primary question in the meeting that I didn't have a good answer for was this: "Does First Encounter have a good hard macro placer?"

Keep in mind that this was 8 years ago, and that I'd been with the company only about 2 weeks at this point.  I remembered from my time talking with other AEs while I was out in San Jose that First Encounter's strength as a silicon virtual prototyping tool was to estimate the feasability (ie, the routability, timing, area, and power) of any floorplan it was supplied. At the time, First Encounter wasn't necessarily a strong floorplanning tool. I remember the answer I gave alluding to this strength, and de-emphasizing the core question but the customer was steadfast: He wanted a good hard macro placer!

Fast forward to today. I'm pleased to report that the Encounter Digitial Implementation System has a very good hard macro placer.  We call it Automatic Floorplan Synthesis, and it's part of a collection of functionality that makes creating and exploring floorplans faster and easier than ever.  Have a look at Automatic Floorplan Synthesis in action in this 7 minute video:

If the video fails to embed please try: here

Commands mentioned in this video:

  • planDesign
  • setPlanDesignMode -boundaryPlace true -groupHardMacro true
  • multiPlanDesign -autoTrials 3 -boundaryPlace on
  • finishFloorplan -autoHalo -autoBlockage

Further reading:

Question of the Day: What do you think about MasterPlan? Have you tried it on your designs lately?


By Kari on February 26, 2009
We have had great success with planDesign. We first used it a couple of years ago on a design that was challenging for timing closure. For several blocks, after spending a lot of time on our own floorplans, we ran planDesign and quickly had a floorplan that had a much better  WNS after optDesign -preCTS than what we had come up with on our own. So now, we always give it a spin. The demo does a great job of showing the recent enhancements like multiPlanDesign and finishFloorplan. I'm looking forward to using these on my next project.

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