Parallel and Distributed Multi-Algorithm Circuit Simulation

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2012-10-19

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Abstract

With the proliferation of parallel computing, parallel computer-aided design (CAD) has received significant research interests. Transient transistor-level circuit simulation plays an important role in digital/analog circuit design and verification. Increased VLSI design complexity has made circuit simulation an ever growing bottleneck, making parallel processing an appealing solution for addressing this challenge. In this thesis, we propose and develop a parallel and distributed multi-algorithm approach to leverage the power of multi-core computer clusters for speeding up transistor-level circuit simulation.

The targeted multi-algorithm approach provides a natural paradigm for exploiting parallelism for circuit simulation. Parallel circuit simulation is facilitated through the exploration of algorithm diversity where multiple simulation algorithms collaboratively work on a single simulation task. To utilize computer clusters comprising of multi-core processors, each algorithm is executed on a separate node with sufficient system resource such as processing power, memory and I/O bandwidth. We propose two communication schemes, namely master-slave and peer-to-peer schemes, to allow for inter-algorithm communication. Compared with the shared-memory based multi-algorithm implementation, the proposed simulation approach alleviates cache/memory contention as a result of multi-algorithm execution and provides further runtime speedups.

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