I'm pleased to announce that our latest version of RTL
Compiler - version 9.1.100 - is now available.
This release is a significant upgrade for RC users, I would encourage all
our customers to check it out as soon as you can. Some of the highlights include:
Quality of Silicon
improvements. For timing-critical
designs, we have seen some pretty good improvements in terms of performance and
area. Yes, this holds up in physical
design as well.
improvements. On average, this
release shows an average of 30% reduction in memory consumption.
analysis, fixing, and prevention. Congestion
is now modeled natively inside RC-Physical. This
enables more automatic optimizations for congestion, which is a very localized
type of problem that you do not want to address uniformly across a design. For more on that topic, please check out our
RC-Spatial technology. The next generation of our physical layout
estimation (PLE), RC-Spatial uses rapid placement to better estimate long wires
in your design. This helps deliver more
accuracy to the core synthesis optimization engine during RTL-to-gate
synthesis. Since this is new technology,
be sure to use the latest USR of RC when using it.
Sequential merging. RC now merges equivalent flops or latches by
default. This conserves area, easing
place & route, and reduces the overall clock load, which reduces clock tree
inferencing. This has been added in
stages over the past year, having been completed in 9.1.100. For target libraries with multi-bit sequential or combinational cells,
this optimization can save area as well as capacitive loading. The impacts on DFT and optimization are considered automatically by the core engine. This needs to be turned on with an
Retiming can now be performed as an incremental optimization to improve
performance, area, or power. It even
works in the RC-Physical context, and RC-Physical will incrementally re-place
the retimed flop. This feature, available in all RC packages, is
enabled with an attribute, and offers fine-grained control over what it applies
CPF-aware RC-Physical. RC-Physical can now utilize CPF information
to perform legal placement, cross-domain optimization, and legal incremental
placement within power domain boundaries.
This offers deterministic design closure for multiple power domain
RTL Design Explorer. If you are looking to reduce active power
consumption but are hesitant to try reducing voltage levels because you do not
want to miss your performance targets, there is a new automated way to explore
all the different voltage level combinations for your power domains. You can quickly see which
approach best satisfies your overall design goals, then use the generated
script to take it forward through production top-down multi-supply
multi-voltage (MSMV) synthesis.
RC Quality Analyzer. We have built into RC a full design checking
capability. It can run at the RTL or
gate-level, checking rules such as RTL lint, DFT, low power structures,
constraints, clock domain crossing, and even library consistency. This is even a platform from which you can
run advanced capabilities like Conformal Constraint Designer's false or
multi-cycle path validation.
GUI improvements. First, the GUI response time has been sped up
by an average of 10x. There's a lot of
advanced analysis capabilities available in the RC-GUI that can help with visualization and debugging, I encourage everybody to take advantage of them in your next synthesis run. Also to that end, we
have activated the GUI during batch runs.
So you can "raise" the GUI from the command-line to analyze something,
then "lower" it back out of sight to return to batch mode.
Command to determine
worst PVT corner. Multi-corner
analysis and optimization has become more critical in today's process geometries. However synthesizing for multi-corner is
expensive in terms of runtime. We have
added a command that returns the worst timing corner for a library, so you can synthesize
for that corner. This allows you to
optimize timing for the true worst corner, without the added runtime overhead
of multi-corner. This is in addition to
the power_library capability we have had for years - which allows you to
specify an additional library for power analysis and optimization to go along
with your timing library.
DFT. The R&D team has done a lot of work to make DFT seamless inside of RC. Now that they have accomplished that, they're starting to add some new capabilities such as advanced rule checking, deterministic fault analysis and test point insertion, support for AC test (IEEE 1149.6) for designs with high-speed IO blocks, and automated compression analysis to determine the best compression ratio.
Wow, that was a long post.
As you can see, there are a lot of new capabilities. This was a brief overview of each. In the coming weeks, we will have some of our technical folks provide more in-depth posts describing each of these.
As we start planning our future releases, do any readers
have any suggestions?
Product Marketing Director
RTL Compiler Synthesis