NVCell 2: Routability-Driven Standard Cell Layout in Advanced Nodes with Lattice Graph Routability Model

Standard cells are essential components of modern digital circuit designs. With process technologies advancing beyond the 5nm node, more routability issues have arisen due to the decreasing number of routing tracks, increasing number and complexity of design rules, and strict patterning rules. Automatic standard cell synthesis tools are struggling to design cells with severe routability issues. In this paper, we propose a routability-driven standard cell synthesis framework using a novel pin density aware congestion metric, lattice graph routability modelling approach, and dynamic external pin allocation methodology to generate routability optimized layouts. On a benchmark of 94 complex and hard-to-route standard cells, NVCell 2 improves the number of routable and LVS/DRC clean cell layouts by 84.0% and 87.2%, respectively. NVCell 2 can generate 98.9% of cells LVS/DRC clean, with 13.9% of the cells having smaller area, compared to an industrial standard cell library with over 1000 standard cells.

Alvin Ho (NVIDIA)
Minsoo Kim (NVIDIA)
Shang Wei (NVIDIA)
Yaguang LI (NVIDIA)
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