Preplacement Net Length and Timing Estimation by Customized Graph Neural Network

TitlePreplacement Net Length and Timing Estimation by Customized Graph Neural Network
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsZ Xie, R Liang, X Xu, J Hu, CC Chang, J Pan, and Y Chen
JournalIeee Transactions on Computer Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems
Volume41
Issue11
Start Page4667
Pagination4667 - 4680
Date Published11/2022
Abstract

Net length is a key proxy metric for optimizing timing and power across various stages of a standard digital design flow. However, the bulk of net length information is not available until cell placement, and hence, it is a significant challenge to explicitly consider net length optimization in design stages prior to placement, such as logic synthesis. In addition, the absence of net length information makes accurate preplacement timing estimation extremely difficult. Poor predictability on the timing not only affects timing optimizations but also hampers the accurate evaluation of synthesis solutions. This work addresses these challenges by a preplacement prediction flow with estimators on both net length and timing. We propose a graph attention network (GAT) method with customization, called Net2, to estimate individual net length before cell placement. Its accuracy-oriented version Net2a achieves about 15% better accuracy than several previous works in identifying both long nets and long critical paths. Its fast version Net2f is more than $1000\times $ faster than placement while still outperforms previous works and other neural network techniques in terms of various accuracy metrics. Based on net size estimations, we propose the first machine learning-based preplacement timing estimator. Compared with the preplacement timing report from commercial tools, it improves the correlation coefficient in arc delays by 0.08, and reduces the mean absolute error in slack, worst negative slack, and total negative slack estimations by more than 50%.

DOI10.1109/TCAD.2022.3149977
Short TitleIeee Transactions on Computer Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems