Simultaneous shield and buffer insertion for crosstalk noise reduction in global routing

Tianpei Zhang, Sachin S. Sapatnekar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


As VLSI technologies scale down, interconnect performance is greatly affected by crosstalk noise due to the decreasing wire separation and increased wire aspect ratio, and crosstalk has become a major bottleneck for design closure. The effectiveness of traditional buffering and spacing techniques for noise reduction is constrained by the limited available resources on chip. In this paper, we present a method for incorporating crosstalk reduction criteria into global routing under a broad power supply network paradigm. This method utilizes power/ground wires as shields between signal wires to reduce capacitive coupling, while considering the constraints imposed by limited routing and buffering resources. An iterative procedure is employed to route signal wires, assign supply shields, and insert buffers so that both buffer/routing capacity and signal integrity goals are met. In each iteration, shield assignment and buffer insertion are considered simultaneously via a dynamic programming-like approach. Our noise calculations are based on Devgan's metric, and our work demonstrates, for the first time, that this metric shows good fidelity on average. An effective noise margin inflation technique is also proposed to compensate for the pessimism of Devgan's metric. Experimental results on testcases with up to about 10 000 nets point towards an asymptotic runtime that increases linearly with the number of nets. Our algorithm achieves noise reduction improvements of up to 53% and 28%, respectively, compared to methods considering only buffer insertion or only shield insertion after buffer planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)624-636
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2007


  • Buffer
  • Crosstalk
  • Noise
  • Routing
  • Shielding

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