Introduction to ASIC Design Flow

Today, ASIC design flow is a mature process with many individual steps. ASIC design flow process is the backbone of every ASIC design project. To ensure design success, one must have: a silicon-proven ASIC design flow, a good understanding of the ASIC specifications and requirements, and an absolute domination over the required EDA tools (and their inputs and outputs).



A simplified version of an ASIC design flow is described in the following diagram. Although analog ASIC design and digital ASIC design have some differences, they still share a common structured backbone.


ASIC Design Flow Step 1: Logic Synthesis


  • RTL conversion into netlist
  • Design partitioning into physical blocks
  • Timing margin and timing constrains
  • RTL and gate level netlist verification
  • Static timing analysis

ASIC Design Flow Step 2: Floorplanning


  • Hierarchical ASIC blocks placement
  • Power and clock planning

ASIC Design Flow Step 3: Synthesis


  • Timing constrains and optimization
  • Static timing analysis
  • Update placement
  • Update power and clock planning


ASIC Design Flow Step 4: Block Level Layout


  • Complete placement and routing of blocks


ASIC Design Flow Step 5: ASIC Level Layout


  • ASIC integration of all blocks
  • Place and route
  • GDSII creation


See here our previous articles that covers ASIC design flow.

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