Computer Aids for VLSI Design
Steven M. Rubin
Copyright © 1994
Chapter 1: The Characteristics of Digital Electronic Design
This chapter has described the VLSI design process and
the characteristics of such design as a foundation for understanding
Hierarchy is a major consideration in design because it is
difficult to specify properly.
In addition, there are many aspects of hierarchical design that
place heavy demands on CAD systems.
The use of differing views is important in all design.
These views should be handled uniformly so that structure can be related
Coupled with this are the problems of conversion and correspondence between
An important characteristic, specific to circuit design, is connectivity,
which is related to the notion of nets.
Not only are connected nets important in circuitry, but connected
constraints help make the design process more flexible.
Finally, the basically two-dimensional nature of circuits is
another characteristic that should be recognized as important to
An understanding of these issues sets the stage for the
computer-aided design tools described in this book.
- Name some two-and-one-half-dimensional design environments other than VLSI.
- What is the most important reason for the use of hierarchy: (a) to save space
in memory, (b) to allow humans to design circuits more effectively, (c) to enable
multiperson projects, (d) to speed display by drawing bounding boxes.
- Design a scheme for view correspondence when the two corresponding
hierarchies are different.
- How does a net differ from a wire?
- Describe a situation in which a cell definition would be different from the
cell's hierarchical contents.
- What is the meaning of the term "computer-aided engineering"?
How did it arise?
- List some attributes of mechanical design that are not found in VLSI design.
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