mflowgen: A Modular Flow Generator and Ecosystem for Community-Driven Physical Design
TimeWednesday, July 13th2pm - 2:30pm PDT
Location3003, Level 3
Special Session (Research)
DescriptionAchieving high code reuse in physical design is challenging but increasingly necessary for building complex systems in advanced technologies. Existing approaches based on parameterized Tcl templates and generators struggle to preserve reusable code as risk-averse teams aggressively customize for specific technologies and designs. We propose a modular flow generator methodology that allows designers to encapsulate reusable code as modular nodes which can be assembled into complete flows. We pair the generator with an open-source ecosystem supporting both commercial and open-source tools. New designers can quickly assemble flows from a continually improving library of community-developed physical design nodes. Experienced designers can specialize technology- and design-specific flows by composing generic and custom nodes. Over ten projects have contributed to the ecosystem with silicon prototypes in TSMC16, TSMC28, TSMC40, SKY130, and IBM180 technologies, making the case that modular flow generators can enable reuse in future physical design flows.