Logic Design for Array-Based Circuits

by Donnamaie E. White

Copyright © 1996, 2001, 2002 Donnamaie E. White


Sizing the Design - Selecting the Array

Last Edit July 22, 2001


Special driver macros may be provided in a library. These "super-drivers" are not derated. They are designed to provide a clean edge even when loaded to their rated limit. These drivers will use more current and more cells then the non-driver but fewer of them are required to drive the same load. The result may be the same cell utilization and the same power.

Another feature of drivers should be considered. When timing analysis is performed, the super-drivers and drivers will be seen to have a lower k-factor (drive factor) than the non-driver macros, resulting in lower inter-macro delays for the same load than a non-driver macro could provide.

Drivers may be interface macros or internal macros.

Hook-up or interconnect restrictions

Hook-up is used here to define the rules on grounding an input pin to a macro. CMOS and BiCMOS technologies require that all unused macro input pins (non-primary array inputs) be clipped to VDD or VSS, no exceptions.

Bipolar technologies allow the unused input pins to be tied to global ground. The ground symbol on the schematic is for human comprehension and to allow checking software to understand that the designer meant to leave the pin unattached.

For some arrays, a macro input pin connected to global ground on a schematic will mean that the pin "floats", or is unattached to anything when silicon is built. For others, these pins are physically attached to a confirmed logical low by connecting to a rail (CMOS) or by strapping the base to the emitter (bipolar) through conditional geometry.

For the Q20000 Series these pins are base input to transistors and when unused are tied to the emitter to ensure a logical low. For the Q5000 Series, the pins were allowed to float.

Whether or not the pins are allowed to float, there will be cases where specific macro pins are restricted, i.e., these pins cannot be attached to global ground but must be driven low by another macro. This is a hook-up restriction.

When hook-up restrictions exist, some macro must be added to the schematic to drive these pins low (or high). The number added will depend on the number of loads that must be driven low or high.

Pin restrictions - interconnect restrictions

Some macros are pin-restricted in that they may not be freely connected to any other macro but much be driven by or drive a specific class of macro. As an example, TTL three-state outputs and TTL bidirectional macros in some macro libraries must have their enable pins driven by a macro known as a three-state enable driver. No other macro may drive that enable pin. The three-state enable drivers can only be connected to drive these specific pins; they may not be used to drive other macros.

In the Q5000 library, three-state enable drivers may only be placed on interface I/O cells, even when they are driven by internal signals, leaving the pad unused in this case.

When pin-restrictions cause the use of specific macros and these macros have re stricted placements, the impact on cell utilization must be considered.

Internal cell utilization

When the paths have all been checked for fan-out, pin restrictions, hook-up restric tions, placement rules, etc., the internal cell utilization can be estimated. As stated in Chapter 2, this is the sum of all the internal cells used divided by the number of internal cells available.

Internal cell utilization = (number of internal cells used by the circuit) / (number of internal cells available on the array)

Further changes

Other factors that can change the estimated cell utilization include adjustments made for power reduction, for speed enhancement, or for cell utilization reduction for ei ther interface or internal cells.

Copyright @ 2001, 2002 Donnamaie E. White, White Enterprises
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