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Journal of Information Science and Engineering, Vol. 23 No. 6, pp. 1681-1705 (November 2007)

A Fast Register Scheduling Approach to the Architecture of Multiple Clocking Domains*

Shih-Hsu Huang, Chia-Ming Chang and Yow-Tyng Nieh
Department of Electronic Engineering
Chung Yuan Christian University
Chungli, 320 Taiwan

Although the clock skew can be exploited as a manageable resource in the design of digital systems, it is very difficult to implement a wide spectrum of dedicated clock delays. The architecture of multiple clocking domains, which restricts the clock arrival time of each register to specified clocking domains, has attracted a lot of attentions recently. However, given a target clock period and an objective function, previous multidomain clock skew scheduling approach requires very high computational expense to obtain the corresponding optimal multi-domain clock skew schedule. In this paper, we present a general methodology, which is independent of the objective function, to speed up the process of multi-domain clock skew scheduling. Our contribution includes the following two aspects. First, we propose an approach to deriving the ASAP (as-soon-aspossible) schedule and the ALAP (as-late-as-possible) schedule of each register. Due to pruning the redundancies, the problem size can be considerably reduced without sacrificing the exactness (optimality) of the solution. Second, we propose a zone-based scheduling algorithm to solve a large circuit heuristically, in which a zone is part of registers extracted from the large circuit. Experimental data consistently show that the zone-based scheduling algorithm is a very good heuristic.

Keywords: logic synthesis, clock skew, scheduling, digital circuit optimization, mathematical programming

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Received August 31, 2005; revised April 10, 2006; accepted July 17, 2006. Communicated by Liang-Gee Chen.
*This work was supported in part by the National Science Council of Taiwan, R.O.C. under grant No. NSC 93-2215-E-033-004. A preliminary version, entitled Fast Multi-Domain Clock Skew Scheduling for Peak Current Reduction, has appeared in the Proceedings of Asia and South Pacific Design Automation Conference, 2006.