Design Advisor: A Knowledge-Based IC Design Critic

Robin L. Steele, Scott A. Richardson, and Michael A. Winchell

This paper describes the implementation of a knowledge-based system that provides VLSI design advice in the areas of performance, manufacturability, testability, and overall design quality from a netlist description of an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) design. The NCR DesignAdvisor addresses key issues that may plague the designer during actual design and schematic capture of an ASIC. In turn, it reduces the necessity for tedious work with conventional tools and potentially eliminates costly redesign. In it’s first application, it is used to automate much of the semicustom design review process, which was previously a painstaking manual effort.

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