1 Department of Information Technology, Technical University of Denmark
The research and development carried out in this Ph.D. study focusses on two key areas of the design flow for analogue and mixed-signal integrated circuit design, the mixed-signal floorplanning and the analogue layout generation.A novel approach to floorplanning is presented which provides true interactive floorplanning capabilities due to a new implementation variant of a Genetic Algorithm. True interactive floorplanning allows the designer to communicate with existing floorplans during optimization. By entering the "ideas" and expertise of the designer into the optimization algorithm the automated search for better solutions can be guided into new and more prosperous areas of the search space. This feature also provides the designer with the ability to easily try out several implementation options, thus exploring the solution space, which are especially important in the early stages of the design flow.A new design flow for automated layout generation of general analogue integrated circuits is presented. The design flow provides an automated design path from a sized circuit schematic to the final layout containing the placed, but unrouted, devices of the circuit. The analogue circuit layout is generated using a full-custom layout style and is based on a library of CMOS process independent device generators. The placement for the analogue circuit is derived using the interactive floorplan optimization algorithm described above. This ensures that a high degree of user control is implemented in the design flow.The principles and techniques described in this thesis have resulted in the development and implementation of a platform and CAD vendor independent design environment, the Mx-toolset. This environment contains the graphical user interface and design management tool MxPlan, the new interactive floorplanning algorithm MxPlace and the process independent analogue layout generator library MxDevice.