Physical design automation for large scale field programmable analog arrays
Baskaya, Ismail Faik
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Field-programmable analog arrays (FPAA) are integrated circuits with a collection of analog building blocks connected through a wire and switch fabric to achieve reconfigurability similar to the FPGAs of the digital domain. Like FPGAs, FPAAs can help reduce the time and money costs of the integrated circuit design cycle and make analog design much easier. In recent years, several types of FPAAs have been developed. Among these, FPAAs that use floating-gate transistors as programming elements have shown great potential in scalability because of the simplicity they provide in configuring the chip. Existing tools for programming FPAAs tend to be device specific and aimed at specific tasks such as filter design. To move FPAAs to the next step, more powerful and generic placement and routing tools are necessary. This thesis presents a placement and routing tool for large-scale floating-gate-based FPAAs. A topology independent routing resource graph (RRG) was used to model the FPAA routing topology, which enables generic description of any FPAA architecture with arbitrary connectivity including possible FPGA support in the future as well. So far, different FPAA architectures have been specified and routed successfully. The tool is already in use in classes and workshops for analog circuit and system design. Efficient ways to describe circuits and user constraints were developed to allow easy integration with other tools. Analog circuit performance was optimized by taking into account the routing parasitic effects on interconnects under various device-related constraints. Parasitic modeling allows simulation and evaluation of circuits routed on FPAA. Finally, a methodology was developed to explore the optimum architecture for a set of circuit classes by evaluating the efficiency of different architectures for each circuit class.