Prof. Young’s Team Won the Best Paper Award at the 32nd ACM International Symposium on Physical Design (ISPD)

From left: Jinwei Liu, Fangzhou Wang

Fangzhou Wang, Jinwei Liu, and Prof. Evangeline Young won the Best Paper Award at the 32nd ACM International Symposium on Physical Design (ISPD) for the paper “FastPass: Fast Pin Access Analysis with Incremental SAT Solving”.

The symposium took place March 26 to 29 online, where leading researchers and next-generation designers, from across the world, gather annually for the physical design of future chips. Advances in semiconductor fabrication process technology continue to push the limits of process lithography into the deep nanometer regime for better performance, power, and area, chasing Moore’s Law. Diverse devices have adopted heterogeneous integration to achieve better system-level power-performance cost trade-offs and higher performance.

The paper looks at pin access analysis, which is a critical step in detailed routing. With complicated design rules and pin shapes, efficient and accurate pin accessibility evaluation is desirable in many physical design scenarios. To this end, Mr. Wang and his co-authors propose FastPass, a fast and robust pin access analysis framework, which first generates design rule checking (DRC)-clean pin access route candidates for each pin, pre-computes incompatible pairs of routes, and then uses incremental SAT solving to find an optimized pin access scheme. Experimental results on the ISPD 2018 benchmarks show that FastPass produces DRC-clean pin access schemes for all cases while being 14.7 times faster than the known best pin access analysis framework on average.