Minimizing the layout area of 2-input look up tables
thesisposted on 22.05.2021, 16:22 by Nafiul Hyder
This work investigates the minimum layout area of multiplexers, a fundamental building block of Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs). In particular, we investigate the minimum layout area of 4:1 multiplexers, which are the building blocks of 2-input Look-Up Tables (LUTs) and can be recursively used to build higher order LUTs and multiplexer-based routing switches. We observe that previous work routes all four data inputs of 4:1 multiplexers on a single metal layer resulting in a wiring-area-dominated layout. In this work, we explore the various transistor-level placement options for implementing the 4:1 multiplexers while routing multiplexer data inputs through multiple metal layers in order to reduce wiring area. Feasible placement options with their corresponding data input distributions are then routed using an automated maze router and the routing results are then further manually refined. Through this systematic approach, we identified three 4:1 multiplexer layouts that are smaller than the previously proposed layouts by 30% to 35%. In particular, two larger layouts of the three are only 33% to 45% larger than layout area predicted by the two widely used active area models from previous FPGA architectural studies, and the smallest of the three layouts is 1% to 11% larger than the layout area predicted by these models.