Computer Aids for VLSI Design
Steven M. Rubin
Copyright © 1994

Chapter 8: Programmability

Section 5 of 5

8.5 Summary

Programmability is that extra control over the design process that allows any circuit to be produced. It extends the power of all tools and defines new, special-purpose ones. Given that hardware is often described algorithmically, a CAD system that has the ability to use those algorithms in design can consider all specifications.

Programs for design can exist in many forms, from traditional imperative text to purely graphical and declarative. Graphic programming is particularly attractive in an environment that is inherently spatial. Also, declarative programming is preferred because of its appeal to the nonprogrammers who typically do design. It simplifies issues of hierarchy and merges well with the overall design effort.


  1. What is the danger of using an embedded language for hardware description?
  2. Why do designers dislike programming?
  3. How would you maintain an association between a conditional expression and its resulting graphics?
  4. Why is a collection of linear inequalities a poor way to describe layout?
  5. How would you eliminate unnecessary processing when solving constraints with parallel methods?
  6. What is the most difficult aspect of implementing parameterized cells?
  7. Why is there a need to link textual and graphical descriptions of a circuit?


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