CAD Tools for 3-Dimensional VLSI Circuits

Period of Performance: 03/28/2002 - 11/28/2002


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Orora Design Technologies, Inc.
18378 Redmond Fall CIty Road
Redmond, WA 98052
Principal Investigator


Three dimensional integration offers the potential of orders of magnitude improvement by reducing interconnect lengths and delays. With recent breakthroughs in manufacturing technology, 3-D circuits are emerging as a commercially viable solution to enable continued technology development conforming to Moore's Law. However, the exploration of 3-D circuits will be hampered by a lack of design tools for thermal investigation and 3-D place and route. In this SBIR proposal, Orora Design Technologies (ODT) proposes the development of a new generation of CAD tools and a design methodology for three-dimensional integrated circuits. ODT will develop a VHDL-AMS based methodology will be developed and demonstrated for modeling and simulation of the coupled electrical and thermal performances of 3-D circuits. Innovative place-and-route tools will be developed to facilitate exploration and multi-objective optimization of 3-D circuits. The design of an asynchronous FFT processor tailored to the 3-D structure will be chosen to allow demonstration of performance gains in reducing latency, increasing clock speed, and increasing density while still maintaining reasonable power dissipation. Three dimensional integration hold the potential for increasing circuit performance. By stacking circuits, an increase in circuit density and a decrease in the length of critical routes can be achieved. This in turn will alleviate the burdens placed on the large die currently implemented 2 dimensional approaches. Basic results using system-level models show that 3-D technology should provide speed performances that are comparable to 2-D technologies that are 2 to 3 generations ahead. To enable the rapid adoption and proliferation of these technologies and advantages, CAD tools are needed to speed up and automate the design process. Similar to the revolution in digital circuits, CAD tools for 3-D would automate layout and keep design at a high level of abstraction. The results of this project would serve as the basis for the toolset to enable CAD for 3-D integrated circuits.