Parallel Algorithms for Time and Frequency Domain Circuit Simulation
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As a most critical form of pre-silicon verification, transistor-level circuit simulation is an indispensable step before committing to an expensive manufacturing process. However, considering the nature of circuit simulation, it can be computationally expensive, especially for ever-larger transistor circuits with more complex device models. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly desirable to accelerate circuit simulation. On the other hand, the emergence of multi-core machines offers a promising solution to circuit simulation besides the known application of distributed-memory clustered computing platforms, which provides abundant hardware computing resources. This research addresses the limitations of traditional serial circuit simulations and proposes new techniques for both time-domain and frequency-domain parallel circuit simulations. For time-domain simulation, this dissertation presents a parallel transient simulation methodology. This new approach, called WavePipe, exploits coarse-grained application-level parallelism by simultaneously computing circuit solutions at multiple adjacent time points in a way resembling hardware pipelining. There are two embodiments in WavePipe: backward and forward pipelining schemes. While the former creates independent computing tasks that contribute to a larger future time step, the latter performs predictive computing along the forward direction. Unlike existing relaxation methods, WavePipe facilitates parallel circuit simulation without jeopardizing convergence and accuracy. As a coarse-grained parallel approach, it requires low parallel programming effort, furthermore it creates new avenues to have a full utilization of increasingly parallel hardware by going beyond conventional finer grained parallel device model evaluation and matrix solutions. This dissertation also exploits the recently developed explicit telescopic projective integration method for efficient parallel transient circuit simulation by addressing the stability limitation of explicit numerical integration. The new method allows the effective time step controlled by accuracy requirement instead of stability limitation. Therefore, it not only leads to noticeable efficiency improvement, but also lends itself to straightforward parallelization due to its explicit nature. For frequency-domain simulation, this dissertation presents a parallel harmonic balance approach, applicable to the steady-state and envelope-following analyses of both driven and autonomous circuits. The new approach is centered on a naturally-parallelizable preconditioning technique that speeds up the core computation in harmonic balance based analysis. The proposed method facilitates parallel computing via the use of domain knowledge and simplifies parallel programming compared with fine-grained strategies. As a result, favorable runtime speedups are achieved.
Dong, Wei (2009). Parallel Algorithms for Time and Frequency Domain Circuit Simulation. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from