Computer Science and Engineering Students Won the Third Place of the ISPD 2015 Blockage-Aware Detailed Routing-Driven Placement Contest

Congratulations to CHOW Wing-Kai, KUANG Jian, LAM Ka-Chun, TU Peishan, LIU Chuangwen and LIU Zhiqing supervised by Prof. Evangeline F.Y. Young won the third place of the ISPD 2015 Blockage-Aware Detailed Routing-Driven Placement Contest.

The ISPD-2015 contest, titled “Detailed Routing-Driven Placement with Fence Regions and Routing Blockages” addressed the problem of too rapid growth in the complexity of design rules as smaller process technologies have significantly increased “miscorrelation” between global routing and detailed routing. Traditional placement approaches that only use global routing congestion estimates are inadequate to meet the challenge. The 2015 ISPD contest continued the work of the 2014 contest addressing this miscorrelation by scoring the routability and wire length of the placements using Mentor Graphic’s Olympus-SoC detailed place-and-route tool.

This year’s benchmark included twenty designs including four hidden from the contestants for blind testing. Fifteen of the designs were adapted from ISPD 2013 when Intel supplied the benchmarks for the discrete cell-sizing contest. The other five designs were adapted from the Design Automation Conference (DAC 2012) placement contest examples supplied by IBM.

Twelve student teams participated in this year’s contest, from universities in Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the United States. The contest website posted daily updates on team rankings and scores to encourage competition. Placement quality progressed rapidly as the contest progressed, with significant routability improvements over last year’s results. The top four teams each had at least one design with fewer routing violations than the other teams.