The Subcircuit Extraction Problem

Nian Zhang
Donald C. Wunsch, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Frank Harary

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The steady down scaling of CMOS device dimensions has been the main stimulus to the growth of microelectronics and computer aided very large scale integration (VLSI) design. But the more an integrated circuit (IC) is scaled, the higher its packing density becomes. The increasing size of chips, measured in either area or number of transistors, and the waste of the large capital investment involved in fabricating and testing circuits that do not work, make layout analysis and verification an important part of physical design automation. The most efficient way to overcome these difficulties is to identify a related collection of interconnected primitive devices in a circuit as a gate-level component. This is usually called the subcircuit extraction problem. The paper presents some background on subcircuit extraction. Subcircuit extraction is becoming a more critical issue with the increasing design sizes of very large scale integrated circuits (VLSICs). In the future, one of the most important tasks is to convert current stand-alone subcircuit extraction algorithms into economic benefits. We should make every effort to find those companies who would like to incorporate these algorithms into their VLSI layout verification software to speed up the process.