by Artur Chojnacki, Technical University of Eindhoven, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

The opportunities created by modern microelectronic technology cannot be fully exploited, because of weaknesses of the traditional logic synthesis methods applied in the most todays commercial CAD tools. Particularly in the case of (C)PLDs, look-up table (LUT) based FPGAs and complex CMOS-gates, the constraints are imposed not on the function type a certain logic building block can implement, but on various blocks structural parameters (e.g. the maximum number of the blocks inputs, outputs etc.) and on interconnections between the blocks. A logic block is able to implement any function with limited dimensions. On the other hand, the traditional logic synthesis methods do not consider hard structural constraints and are devoted to only some very special cases of possible implementation structures involving some minimal functionally complete systems of logic operators (e.g. AND+OR+NOT). They require a post synthesis technology mapping for another implementation structures. If the actual synthesis target strongly differs from one of these minimal systems, e.g. involves a lot of complex gates, look-up table FPGAs or (C)PLDs, any technology mapping cannot guarantee a good result, because the initial synthesis is performed without close relation to the actual target. Therefore, there is presently much research in the field of general functional decomposition.

Functional decomposition consists of breaking down a complex system of discrete functions or relations into a network of smaller and relatively independent co-operating sub-functions (sub-relations), in such a way that the original systems behavior is preserved, some constraints are satisfied and some objectives are optimized. A sub-function (sub-relation) in the network can be any sort of function (relation) satisfying certain specific structural constraints.

A new bottom-up multi-level logic synthesis method for LUT-based FPGAs will be presented. It is based on the theory and methodology of general decomposition which allow for modeling of all possible circuits structures, and efficiently finding some (near-)optimal circuit structures in a heuristic search. The method implements a bottom-up synthesis process: the circuit is built level by level from inputs to outputs. It uses information relationship measures for design decision making in the scope of the heuristic search for solutions. This limits the solution search space to a manageable size while keeping the most promising solutions in the limited space. The experimental results of the prototype tool that implements the method demonstrate that its application results in very effective circuits for symmetric functions. Results for asymmetric functions are also very good.

------------------------

Artur Chojnacki received his M.Sc. in Computer Science from Warsaw University of Technology in 1992.

From 1992 to 1997 he worked at ZWUT S.A. a Siemens Company as a Quality Assurance Engineer, Software Team Leader and Project Leader. Currently he is Ph.D. student in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands, working unders supervision of Professor Lech Jozwiak.

He performs research in the area of logic synthesis for look-up table based (LUT) field programmable gate arays (FPGAs).