Message from discussion Your next supercomputer! Just $99 for 16 ARM cores on a chip. (link supplied)
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From: Bernd Paysan <bernd.pay...@gmx.de>
Subject: Re: Your next supercomputer! Just $99 for 16 ARM cores on a chip. (link supplied)
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2012 01:11:42 +0200
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> I shouldn't speak for the chip designers, but from what they have
> written, they could ONLY design this chip using their own tools. They
> even talk about how SPICE is broken and should not be used for
> anything because it did not accurately model their designs.
Yes, I've heard that, too. I've done simulations with the same process
(180nm TSMC logic process), and Spice/Spectre was perfectly right and
accurate. TSMC's models have a rather good reputation, most of the time
accurate to the point (though some model parameters like resistor tempco
are only available under typical conditions). I don't know what Chuck
did wrong, but I think he did something wrong. I had tutored a few
beginners, and you can indeed make quite a number of mistakes with these
Chuck doesn't like these complex and horribly expensive tools, but if
you negotiate, these tools are far less expensive than wasting years
with full-custom hand-layout, they do get a lot of work done for you.
As this is mostly a digital chip, I wouldn't even consider using Spice,
the digital models are accurate enough. Chucks horror storries about
conventional tools go pretty far back in time, at least back to ShBoom.
That's more than 20 years. Yes, the tools were really bad back then.
The tools have gotten better over time. I had been pretty annoyed by
the tools nearly 15 years ago, when I started. They often didn't do
what I wanted them to do, or at least were suboptimal. But they
improved. For small designs, they are almost perfect now. A coworker
asked me about a particular Verilog construct in the b16 ALU, and I
explained him how I build an ALU out of a full adder and two multiplexer
per bit. He said "the synthesis tool is never going to do that for
you", and I checked: It did. Both the current synthesis tool from
Cadence and Synopsys did what I wanted them to do.
"If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself"