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Design Implementation

Socle has been delivering SoC design services(SoC-ImP®) by robust flow cover 0.25um to 7nm technology. SoC-ImP® methodology resolves the challenges of million gates by DFT, Power analysis, Placement & Routing, RC Extraction, Timing Analysis, IR Drop / Electro Migration, Design For Manufacturing (DFM), by time to market requirements.

SoC-ImP® flow proven by tablet, IP Cam, 8K TV Set-Top-Box, 5G, AI application…,ect. Over 500 projects

Design Implementation Items

- RTL-to-GDSII, Netlist-to-GDSII, Spec-to-GDSII
- Scan, ATPG, Memory BIST, Boundary Scan
- ARM Processors / RISC-V CPU Configuration/Hardening
- Digital IP hardening
- Hard IP (GDSII) merge

Design Methodology

  • In Design-For-Testability (DFT) services, Socle delivers scan, boundary scan, memory BIST insertion, and compression, fault coverage analysis services.

  • In Low power technique, SoC-ImP® integrate low power format(IEEE 1801/UPF/CPF), optimize DVFS(Dynamic Voltage Frequency Scaling), make leakage power saving up to 10X, dynamic power saving up to 20%. And also support clock gated design and Vt cell swap low power methodology.

  • In timing closure with MMMC(Multi Mode Multi Corner), and on chip variation (OCV) for multiple power domain/on-off domain verification.

Low Power Solution

Multi-Vt Cell Swapping
To make customer achieve low power design, Socle delivers Multi-Vt Cell Swapping, PMK(Power Management Kit) insertion, ICG(Isolation Clock Gating)insertion, MSMV(Multi-Supply, Multi-Voltage) design, and Static/Dynamic power analysis.

PMK Cell Insertion

PMK: Power Management Kit

Level Shift Cell: A level shifter cell used by different voltage level(VDDI & VDD)
Isolation Cell: Dedicated isolation cells with one power port. Isolation control will connect to port EN

Retention Cell: State Retention cells with a single retention control port

Switch Cell: Additional cells not in logical netlist. This is the switch defined in the example design library IEEE 1801/UPF/CPF and used in the design P&R netlist

ICG Cell Insertion
ICG(Isolation Clock Gating): Power saving mechanism. When the circuit is idle mode, ICG are used to turn off part of the DFF clock, make the CLK no need to be toggled all the time

ICG cell consists of Latch, And, Not gate

MSMV- Low-Power Equivalence Checking
Define Analysis Style

Set low power option -analysis_style [pre_sim| pre_syn | post_syn | pre_route | post_route]

  • PRE_sim(by Customer)
    • RTL design
    • Ready for simulation
    • Check syntax and quality for IEEE 1801/UPF/CPF
  • PRE_syn(by Customer)
    • Before gate synthesis
    • Check quality for IEEE 1801/UPF/CPF specification and library
  • POST_syn
    • Logical netlist with isolation, level shifter and retention cells
    • Logical netlist without PG connectivity
  • PRE_route
    • Before place and route
    • Check quality for IEEE 1801/UPF/CPF specification and library
    • Physical netlist with PG connection
    • Power switch related check
  • POST_route
    • Physical netlist with PG connection
    • Check a post place and route netlist with inserted isolation, level shifter, state retention, power switch cells, and power/ground connectivity

Static/Dynamic Power Analysis
Purpose: Evaluation of the Power Consumption

Static Power(average condition):
- Customer provide toggle rate (Vector less)

Dynamic Power(real condition):
- Customer provide VCD(Value Change Dump) file (Vector Based)

Tool: Synopsys PrimeTime PX
Design For Testability

Design For Testability(DFT) consists of IC design techniques that add testability features to a hardware product design. The added features make it easier to develop and apply manufacturing tests to the designed hardware. The purpose of manufacturing tests is to validate the product hardware contains no manufacturing defects, which could adversely affect the product functionality.

Boundary Scan Design
For boundary scan design, customer need to prepare a dedicate TDO(Test Data Output) port implement, use Bidirectional PAD by TDO port, number of signals NOT insert boundary scan cell, and deliver Socle if functional signals shared with Boundary Scan signals(TDI, TMS, TCK, TRST)

Below is boundary scan design overview and signal description:

Boundary Scan Design Overview:

Boundary Scan Signal Description:

Scan Design
For scan design, customer need to reply below questions:
  • How many clocks by the design?
  • Any internally generated clocks?
  • Any internally generated asynchronous sets / resets?
  • Any tri-state buses?
  • How many bi-directional ports by the design?
  • Will scan signals be shared with functional signals?
  • How to bypass PLL & memories?
  • How many scan chains are suitable for the design?
  • Any testing time & power issues?
Below is scan chain expample and signal description:

Scan chain count:

Scan Signal Description:

MBIST Design

For MBIST design, customer need to provide number of memories by the design, number of memory controllers by the design, at-function-speed or low speed is necessary, with testing time & power issues or not, and deliver Socle if functional signals shared with MBIST signals.

Below is MBIST design overview and signal description:

MBIST Control Overview:

MBIST Signal Description:

Timing Closure

Timing closure with MMMC(Multi Mode Multi Corner) and on chip variation (OCV) for multiple power domain/on-off domain verification. Socle follow TSMC Recommend Sign Off Corners by difference process node.

Introduction to OCV

OCV : On Chip Variation
Intrinsic variability of semiconductor process, which impact logic timing

SBOCV : Stage Best OCV
SBOCV provide logic depth and/or cell, net location these derate values, to determine how much impacted by the process variation, by specific path design

SOCV : Statistical OCV
SOCV is Gaussian distribution, the nominal delay(µ), and standard deviation(σ) Each cell delay with the highest probability by +/-3σ interval(3 sigma, up to 99.7%)

SOCV variation characterization
- Variation not path based
- Delay = µ + n*σ (µ: Nominal delay; σ: Standard deviation)
- SOCV used LVF file (Liberty Variation Format)
- SOCV consider Gaussian distribution analysis, could be closer ideal derate

OCV type in TSMC process

TSMC Recommend Sign Off Corners

TSMC Recommend Sign Off Corners
- By each mode(Function, DFT) sign off corners

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