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Digital design at a crossroads

How to make statistical design industrially relevant
: Schlichtmann, U.; Schmidt, M.; Kinzelbach, H.; Pronath, M.; Glöckel, V.; Dietrich, M.; Eichler, U.; Haase, J.

IEEE Computer Society:
Design, Automation and Test in Europe, DATE 2009. Proceedings. CD-ROM : 20 - 24 April 2009, Nice Acropolis, France
New York, NY: IEEE, 2009
ISBN: 978-3-9810801-5-5
Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference (DATE) <2009, Nice>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IIS, Institutsteil Entwurfsautomatisierung (EAS) ()
simulation; digital IC design; statistical timing analysis; statistical power analysis

Statistical analysis is generally seen as the next EDA technology for timing and power sign-off. Research into this field has seen significant activity started about five years ago. Recently, interest appears to have fallen off somewhat. Also, while a lot of focus has been put on research fundamentals, extremely few applications in industry have been reported so far. Therefore, a group including Infineon Technologies as a leading semiconductor IDM and various universities and research institutes, as well as an EDA provider has tackled key challenges to enable statistical design in industry in a publicly funded project called "Sigma65". Sigma65 strives to provide key foundations to allow a change from traditional deterministic design methods to future design methods driven by statistical considerations. The project starts with statistical modeling and optimization of library components and ranges to statistical techniques for designing ICs on gate level and higher levels. In this paper, we present some results of this project, demonstrating how the interaction between industrial perspective, research institutions and EDA provider enables solutions which are applicable already in the near future. After an overview of the industrial perspective of the current situation in dealing with variations recent results on both statistical timing and power analysis will be given. In addition, recent research advances on fast yield estimation concerning parametric timing yield will be given.