Power analysis has materialized as a principal theme in today’s world in semiconductor industries. As very large scale integrated circuit (VLSI) are far beyond from human ability because of complexity in nature. So to analyse power in these circuits we use open source computer aided tools, plenty of tools are available but most of them are costly. I designed an open source power analysis tool for the academic use. This tool gives out values of average and leakage power of any circuit by just giving the netlist of circuit file along with name of supply voltage as input. This tool is designed in python language.
Know what Pentagon is? It is a plane figure which has 5-straight sides and 5-angles. For a perfect pentagon, it needs all its sides and angles to be the same, till the last decimal. Do you know what is the similarity between pentagon and our upcoming workshop “Advanced Physical Design workshop using OpenLANE/SKY130”? Look above image and you would guess it right. It is a perfect blend of topics where even a fresher can jump-start his/her career in chip design in just 5-days
A great one – not only for VSD, but also for entire VSD community. The journey has just begun, in nutshell, below image shows a well-designed VLSI Skilling model (VSD Workshops + VSD-IP design Internship + Tapeout[working on it]), which is not just participants driven but also silicon proven. To summarize, given a problem statement, VSD Interns and participants, who have gone through this rigorous training and designing model will have much better ways to figure out solutions by themselves.
And that’s where VSD must play an especially important role to bring in latest and greatest VLSI skills to you, atleast in the field of open-source hardware. VSD owes a lot to VLSI community and hence has planned 3 exclusive cloud lab-based VLSI workshops on 3 important topics, with top 3 expert instructors from around globe, having more than 2 decades of experience – Tim Edwards, Steve Hoover, and Prof. Mohamed Shalan
Open-source EDA tool development with lab exercises using Sky130 pdk’s by Google/Skywater
RISC-V micro-architecture using transaction level – Verilog with lab exercises on Makerchip Platform
SoC and Physical Design using Automated RTL2GDS OpenLANE tool with lab exercises using demo design and Sky130 pdk’s.
Ashutosh had joined our VSD Research IP design internship group 8-weeks back, along with 30 other interns. His journey on was from “I can’t, its too difficult” to “I did it”. Personally, only I know how hard it was for him when he saw an industry grade 10-bit DAC specifications on VSD IP website. We managed to achieve post-layout DNL of 3.5LSB and INL of 3.7LSB, which as per experience, is really tough for a fresher to achieve in a span of 8-weeks, but not impossible.
This time its @Reuel did a pretty great job of building a pretty compact 6T-SRAM cell and he is just a third year engineering student
We had Makerchip IDE, TL-Verilog, Day wise Slack channels, Classroom GitHub and VSD-IAT – All of them so seamlessly integrated that every participant followed the loop and there you go. Out of 110 participants, 35 participants built entire basic RISC-V CPU core which is close to 30% participants, and all in 5-days
to build the shell script for ‘vsdflow’ on CentOS, and finally I have the first cut ready. You just need to follow steps given in below link for CentOS, and all opensource EDA tools (PNR, STA, Layout, LVS) will be installed on your system. There are 2 testcases (picorv32 and spi_slave) inside the below link to test whether all tools have been installed or not. After running the shell script in below link, you need run the testcase
So, I took up two STA tools, OpenSTA from openroad project and “——-” from “——-“, to explain, to some extent, what “bench-marking” means to me. I would also encourage everyone reading this blog to come up with their definitions of “bench-marks” for other tools and we can model that. You can fill-up “——” with one of your favorite industry grade EDA tools. The concept of benchmark won’t change