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Apparatus and method for incorporating driver sizing into buffer insertion using a delay penalty estimation technique

Image Number 4 for United States Patent #6915496.

An apparatus and method for incorporating driver sizing into buffer insertion such that the two optimization techniques are performed simultaneously are provided. The apparatus and method extends van Ginneken's algorithm to handle driver sizing by treating a source node as a "driver library." With the apparatus and method, the circuit design is converted to a Steiner tree representation of the circuit design. Buffer insertion is performed on the Steiner tree using the van Ginneken algorithm to generate a first set of possible optimal solutions. For each solution in the first set, a driver of the same type as the original driver in the Steiner tree is selected from a driver library and virtually inserted into the solution. A delay penalty is retrieved for the selected driver, which is then used long with the new driver's characteristics to generate a second set of solutions based o the first set of solutions.

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