A quadratic programming approach to simultaneous buffer insertion/sizing and wire sizing

C. C. N. Chu, D. F. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we present a completely new approach to the problem of delay minimization by simultaneous buffer insertion and wire sizing for a wire. We show that the problem can be formulated as a convex quadratic program, which is known to be solvable in polynomial time. Nevertheless, we explore some special properties of our problem and derive an optimal and very efficient algorithm modified active set method (MASM) to solve the resulting program. Given m buffers and a set of n discrete choices of wire width, the running time of our algorithm is O(mn2) and is independent of the wire length in practice. For example, an instance of 100 buffers and 100 choices of wire width can be solved in 0.92 s. In addition, we extend MASM to consider simultaneous buffer insertion, buffer sizing, and wire sizing. The resulting algorithm MASM-BS is again optimal and very efficient. For example, with six choices of buffer size and 10 choices of wire width, the optimal solution for a 15 000 /urn long wire can be found in 0.05 s. Besides, our formulation is so versatile that it is easy to consider other objectives like wire area or power dissipation, or to add constraints to the solution. Also, wire capacitance lookup tables, or very general wire capacitance models which can capture area capacitance, fringing capacitance, coupling capacitance, etc. can be used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)787-798
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1999

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Software
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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