Hello Semiwiki colleagues,
I would be very interested on the your feedback to two theoretical physical design questions.
The company Cliosoft seems to be very successful with their VDD (Visual Design Diff) tool, which appears to be primarily focused towards custom design (schematic and layout).
Question 1: are you aware of a similar product or tool for semi-custom flows, i.e. able to (visually or not) present differences between two semi-custom layouts, for instance in DEF format (DEF Diff)?
I am posing this question as it is often the case that back-end optimisations, and generally (positively or negatively impacting) circuit changes between subsequent stages of the semi-custom EDA flow, e.g. cell and critical path placement, buffering, CTS, etc. are often not well understood.
It can theoretically be argued that better understanding of the changes the circuit undergoes during the back-end could improve both aspects of the back-end flow, e.g. floorplanning, or design itself, e.g. logic depth, amount of pipelining, etc.
Question 2: is there a need for more back-end analysis tools in general, which aid in the understanding of the back-end complexities, and if yes, what would these be? I could, for example, add to the aforementioned DEF Diff idea, a Critical Path Diff analysis capability, for tracking critical paths.
I look forward to your feedback and ideas!