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Content archived on 2024-04-15

CAD for VLSI Systems

Objective

The objective of the CVS project was to implement an integrated CAD system capable of coping with the needs of the 1990s, where improvements in semiconductor technology will allow the production of chips with about 1million transistors. Such a CAD system must lead to a factor of 10improvement in design time, based on novel tools for the automatic construction of designs at the level of system architecture, achieved by interconnecting cells representing parts of the total system which have themselves been constructed automatically from a set of given parameters.
The areas of work included architecture synthesis, digital cell building, analogue cell design, integration of tools and design of demonstration chips.
The objective of the CVS project was to implement an integrated computer aided design (CAD) system capable of coping with the needs of the 1990s, where improvements in semiconductor technology will allow the production of chips with about 1 million transistors. Such a CAD system must lead to a factor of 10 improvement in design time, based on novel tools for the automatic construction of designs at the level of system architecture, achieved by interconnecting cells representing parts of the total system which have themselves been constructed automatically from a set of given parameters. The areas of work included architecture synthesis, digital cell building, analogue cell design, integration of tools and design of demonstration chips. During the first 30 months of the project the design and first implementation of the tools were completed, and final prototype tools were available. In order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the tools developed in the project, an ambitious demonstrator chip has been selected. This is an advanced signal processing very large scale integrated (VLSI) forming part of a new mobile telephone receiver. The overall system design of this chip has now been completed, and its implementation and test using the CVS system is currently in hand.
The operating environment is as follows :
Computer aided design (CAD) and design methodologies
The first prototypes of tools were delivered at the end of 1989.
During the first 30months of the project the design and first implementation of the tools were completed, and final prototype tools were available in March 1990. In order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the tools developed in the project, an ambitiou s demonstrator chip has been selected. This is an advanced signal-processing VLSI forming part of a new mobile telephone receiver. The overall system design of this chip has now been completed, and its implementation and test using the CVS system is currently in hand.
Exploitation
Such a CAD system is expected to lead to the required factor of 10improvement in design time. For chips which will not be sold in very large numbers, rapid and accurate design is of the utmost importance. The techniques of automatic construction of the d esigns, both at the architectural level and for analogue cell design, should be important elements in achieving this aim.
In order to have maximum impact on industry in general, in addition to internal use by the partners, it was agreed that the resulting software will be made available to third parties (eg software houses) for the marketing of the results. Several European SME CAD vendor companies are offering products arising from the CVS project aimed at various niche markets.

Topic(s)

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Call for proposal

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Funding Scheme

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Coordinator

Centro Studi e Laboratori Telecomunicazioni SpA
EU contribution
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Address
Via G. Reiss Romoli, 274
10148 TORINO
Italy

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Participants (8)