A Practical Way to Do Netlist ECO & Debug


GUI and Script Mode

Sometimes, it doesn't make sense to resynthesize multi-million gates design to have only one inverter added. It's not a good practice either to use text editor to change a Giga-byte size netlist. If a design is reasonably verified, those ECOs involving more than 20 gates should be less than 10%. For those 90% small size or replicated ECOs, global mode Automatic ECO is over-killed and inefficient. Gates On the Fly gives users flexibilities to choose GUI and Script mode for those small size or replicated ECOs.

With the help of GUI and Script, the manual work becomes much simpler and more accurate. Sometimes, manual ECO result always gives better results than Automatic ECO. More importantly, the turn around time is much shorter.

In GUI mode, Gates On the Fly has incremental schematic engine (GofTrace) and it fits well in isolating problematic logic. Once the logic under ECO is isolated on the schematic, ECO mode can be enabled and ECO operations can be done on the same schematic.

GOF can parse physical database files, Design Exchange Format (DEF) and Library Exchange Format (LEF). By loading physical database, GOF can view physical layout and connections by LayoutViewer window. The LayoutViewer window has full interactivity with the incremental schematic, GofTrace window. This unified platform serves Metal Only ECO very well. User can solve Metal Only ECO in one stop, instead of going back and forth between back-end and front-end.

The GUI ECO mode has sharp learning curve for beginners and non-frequent users. Click here for one GUI mode ECO use case.

The script mode has the same syntax as Perl which can easily integrate existing netlist processing scripts. The script mode is good for replicated works like inserting AND for all output pins. Also the script mode exports lots of netlist processing APIs, like check design, support end-point trace and logic cone extraction.

When combining netlist processing APIs and Perl's programming algorithm, powerful in-house tools can be created efficiently. Click here for one Script mode ECO use case.

Figure 1: Incremental Schematic

Figure 2: ECO on the same Schematic

Script Mode Manually ECO cases

GUI Mode Functional ECO cases

GUI Mode Metal Only ECO cases

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