We have covered the typical timing ECO procedure, and common timing fix techniques in previous post. Nowadays, designers also heavily rely on timing ECO tools to do the job. We will cover 2 major timing ECO tools in this post:

PrimeTime ECO
Tweaker ECO

PrimeTime ECO

PrimeTime has an ECO flow for DRC or timing fixes, for example:

In addition, it can perform cell sizing and Vt swap using the same command:

Tweaker ECO

Tweaker ECO is a platform developed by Dorado ECO company, and it is targeting ECO solutions. Tweaker ECO, in general, offers great correlation between ECO analysis and post PnR timing results.

Tweaker ECO takes library, PnR netlist, SDC constraints, SPEF, AOCV / POCV table and DEF (floorplan) as inputs. Users can perform ECO experiments in its GUI, and see the timing results in real time. This helps to decrease both ECO time and number of STA iterations.

Conclusion

If interviewees have basic understanding of these two tools we mentioned in the post, it will definitely impress the potential employer. Readers can find more information on Synopsys and Dorado website.

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