Benchmark methodologies for the optimized physical synthesis of RISC-V microprocessors

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Sähkötekniikan korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
Smart Systems Integrated Solutions
Degree programme
Master’s Programme in Smart Systems Integrated Solutions (Erasmus Mundus)
As technology continues to advance and chip sizes shrink, the complexity and design time required for integrated circuits have significantly increased. To address these challenges, Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tools have been introduced to streamline the design flow. These tools offer various methodologies and options to optimize power, performance, and chip area. However, selecting the most suitable methods from these options can be challenging, as they may lead to trade-offs among power, performance, and area. While architectural and Register Transfer Level (RTL) optimizations have been extensively studied in existing literature, the impact of optimization methods available in EDA tools on performance has not been thoroughly researched. This thesis aims to optimize a semiconductor processor through EDA tools within the physical synthesis domain to achieve increased performance while maintaining a balance between power efficiency and area utilization. By leveraging floorplanning tools and carefully selecting technology libraries and optimization options, the CV32E40P open-source processor is subjected to various floorplans to analyze their impact on chip performance. The employed techniques, including multibit components prefer option, multiplexer tree prefer option, identification and exclusion of problematic cells, and placement blockages, lead to significant improvements in cell density, congestion mitigation, and timing. The optimized synthesis results demonstrate a 71\% enhancement in chip design performance without a substantial increase in area, showcasing the effectiveness of these techniques in improving large-scale integrated circuits' performance, efficiency, and manufacturability. By exploring and implementing the available options in EDA tools, this study demonstrates how the processor's performance can be significantly improved while maintaining a balanced and efficient chip design. The findings contribute valuable insights to the field of electronic design automation, offering guidance to designers in selecting suitable methodologies for optimizing processors and other integrated circuits.
Vujaklija, Ivan
Thesis advisor
Ganesha, Ajay
physical synthesis, RISC-V microprocessors, EDA tools, ASIC implementation flow, SoC, floorplanning
Other note