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Timing Closure. Page 2 Welcome This module will help you understand how your synthesis tool, the ISE software, HDL coding style, and other factors that.

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Presentation on theme: "Timing Closure. Page 2 Welcome This module will help you understand how your synthesis tool, the ISE software, HDL coding style, and other factors that."— Presentation transcript:

1 Timing Closure

2 Page 2 Welcome This module will help you understand how your synthesis tool, the ISE software, HDL coding style, and other factors that affect your ability to meet your system timing objectives Timing closure is a large topic that encompasses many of the topics we covers in the Essentials of FPGA Design and the Designing for Performance courses

3 Page 3 Objectives After completing this module, you will be able to: Describe the overall flow for gaining timing closure Specify the key elements in achieving timing closure Describe the importance of your HDL coding style Explain the importance of using Cores in your design List the most effective implementation options that can help you

4 Timing Closure

5 Page 5 Setting Your Performance Expectation Every device family has a maximum performance rating that is a measure of your device’s speed –These performance ratings are “peak” performance = 1 logic level Spartan-6 (400 MHz) Virtex-6 (650 MHz) Virtex-5 (550 MHz) Note that these frequencies are based on some of the shortest routing resources (but still easily accessible) being used –But what is typical? What can I expect? That requires a good timing estimate

6 Page 6 Performance Estimates Synthesis tools have access to logic delays, but not net delays –To resolve this, synthesis tools use a loading model as a net delay estimate Up to 50% uncertainty Xilinx still recommends that you review your synthesis tools timing estimate Experienced FPGA designers know that another estimate is to use the 50/50 rule –This assumes that your logic delay (Tilo + Tsu + Tckdi delay) will typically equal an average net delay From the Virtex-6 data sheet (using the -3 speed grade, fastest device) Tilo =.18ns, Tsu =.29ns, and Tckdi =.30ns Tlogic =.77ns and Troute ~.77ns for an estimate of 1.54ns for 1 logic level (this corresponds to the 650 MHz estimate) Likewise, 2 logic level ~3.08ns and 3 logic level ~ 4.62ns

7 Page 7 Performance Estimates You must remember… –A logic level is a clock-to-out on a CLB register, plus a LUT delay, plus a setup time on a CLB register –Tckdi + Tilo + Tsu –Your performance is greatly impacted by the number of logic levels –FPGA experts know if you want to improve your system speed, first make sure you have evaluated the number of logic levels on your timing critical path

8 Page 8 Performance Estimates Least experienced customers typically design their worst case path at 3 to 5 logic levels –Worst case path ~ 7.7ns = 129 MHz Most experienced customers typically design their worst case path at 2 logic levels –Worst case path ~ 4.62 = 324 MHz –But this will depend on the effort you put in to follow good HDL coding techniques and optimize your design for your FPGA architecture Replicating logic to reduce high fanout net delays Pipeline to reduce logic levels Using alternative design techniques to reduce logic levels Using your synthesis options to reduce logic levels Using advanced implementation options to improve the place and route solution

9 Pin Planning The I/O Planner allows you to view both the Die and Package views so that you can understand the I/O pin relationship to I/O banks and dedicated hardware

10 Pin Planning Case Study Placement reviewed in the Device view –Timing critical nets and logic in green (20% of design) –Note the green lines correspond to routing to/from I/O pins Is there anything wrong?

11 HDL Coding Techniques Basic HDL Coding Techniques Videos –Synchronous Design methodology –Finite State Machine design –Instantiation versus Inference –Hierarchy management –Common HDL coding mistakes Virtex-6 and Spartan-6 HDL Coding Techniques Videos –Managing device resources –Control signal usage (clocks, CE, and resets) –Flip-flop configurations –Reducing control sets –Common HDL coding mistakes –Managing resets –GSR usage –Design tips Page 11

12 Using the Core Generator Cores are optimized components –Cores are created by expert designers who have in-depth knowledge of Xilinx FPGA architecture Use the optimum architecture resources so it saves you from instantiating dedicated hardware  Instantiation of the core is required –Guaranteed functionality saves time during simulation Increase design performance –Cores that contain mapping and placement information have predictable performance that is constant over device size and utilization –The data sheet for each core provides performance expectations Use timing constraints to achieve maximum performance

13 Logic Placement Can Be Very Different with Timing Constraints With global timing constraints Without global timing constraints

14 Timing Constraints Define Your Performance Objectives Timing constraints define your timing objectives –Over-constraining gets you nothing, but costs extra PAR time –Always use timing constraints, even when your timing objective is modest –Refer to the Global Timing Constraints REL for more information Unrealistic constraints will cause the tools to stop –Your synthesis tool’s timing report and the Post-Map Static Timing Report contain performance estimates After implementing, review the Post-Place & Route Static Timing Report to determine if your objectives were met –If your constraints failed, use the Timing Report to determine the cause –The Timing Analyzer is introduced in the Designing for Performance course

15 Timing Constraints The Period constraint defines the maximum allowable internal delay (between two synchronous elements) The Offset In constraint covers your input pin to synchronous element delay paths The Offset Out constraint covers your synchronous element to output pin delay paths Path Specific constraints describe false paths and multi-cycle paths –All of these timing constraints are necessary –Global Timing constraints are covered in the Essentials of FPGA Design course (there is also a free REL) –Path Specific constraints are only covered in the Designing for Performance course

16 Design Goals & Strategies The easiest way to use advanced synthesis and implementation options –Pre-assigned options are set into templates Balanced (default) Timing Performance Area Reduction Minimum Runtime Power Optimization –You can edit strategies

17 Synthesis Options There are many synthesis options that can help you obtain your performance and area objectives –Timing-driven synthesis –FSM extraction –Retiming –Register duplication –Hierarchy management –Resource sharing –Physical optimization Refer to the Synthesis Options Video and the XST Synthesis Options Video

18 Implementation Options The implementation tools support several options to help improve your timing results –Tools automatically stops when all timing constraints are met –These options do add extra time during place and route –Options used include Overall Effort Level (MAP and PAR) Extra Effort Level (MAP and PAR) Tools automatically use timing constraints during MAP (-timing)

19 Locating Timing Critical Paths (Timing Analyzer) Constraint summary –Number of paths analyzed –Number of timing errors –Length of critical path Total delay –Clock and data breakdown Clock jitter analysis Detailed path description –Delay types are described in the data sheet –Worst-case conditions are assumed, unless pro-rated

20 Case 1 Data Path: source to dest Delay type Delay(ns) Logical Resource(s) ---------------------------- ------------------- Tcko 0.290 source net (fanout=7) 0.325 net_1 Tilo 0.060 lut_1 net (fanout=1) 1.500 net_2 Tilo 0.060 lut_2 net (fanout=1) 0.245 net_3 Tilo 0.060 lut_3 net (fanout=1) 0.204 net_4 Tdick 0.300 dest ---------------------------- ------------------------------ Total 3.044ns (0.770ns logic, 2.274ns route) (25.3% logic, 74.7% route) This path is constrained to 3 ns What is the primary cause of the timing failure? The Timing Analyzer is covered in the Designing for Performance course

21 SmartXplorer Iterates through the implementation process, trying different combinations of properties –Automatically stops when all timing constraints are met –Options used include Overall Effort Level (MAP and PAR) Extra Effort Level (MAP and PAR) Global Optimization (MAP) Retiming (MAP) Register Duplication (MAP) Logic Optimization (MAP) Optimization Strategy/Cover Mode (MAP) Allow Logic Optimization Across Hierarchy (MAP)

22 SmartXplorer Results SmartXplorer compares the results of all iterations Best result is saved to the project directory –The options used by SmartXplorer to obtain the best results are promoted to the current project options Information on all iterations is available in the Design Summary screen

23 Multiple Runs (XploreAhead) with PlanAhead This opens the Multiple Runs Wizard –Select from numerous synthesis and implementation option settings for each run –Specify a directory location to store your results –Specify a host if you want to run on a workstation After completion load up each result and compare This and other PlanAhead features are covered in the PlanAhead courses

24 Area Constraints Placement reviewed in the Device view –Timing critical nets and logic in green (20% of design) –Note the placement of the yellow CLBs Is there anything wrong?

25 Area Constraints Top-level floorplan (this is just Pblocks with no area constraints) –Boxes are only rough area constraints, in this case –Note the red lines, they represent the greatest concentration of routes between hierarchical blocks Where should each Pblock go? 2 1 3 4 6 5

26 Timing Closure

27 Page 27 Summary Timing Closure is a design activity, not an automatic activity, and not a “push-button” flow Gaining timing closure requires… ― Good design knowledge and skills (HDL experience and alternative design techniques) ― FPGA architecture knowledge ― Significant tool experience (synthesis, simulation, and implementation) ― Proper design planning (pin assignments)

28 Page 28 Where Can I Learn More? Xilinx online documents ( –Spartan-6 FPGA User Guide –Virtex-6 FPGA User Guide Software manuals –Command Line Tool User Guide –Timing Constraints User Guide –Synthesis and Simulation Design Guide –PlanAhead User Guide –XST User Guide

29 Recommended Video Modules Many FREE Videos are available to help you in many significant ways –Basic HDL Coding Techniques –Virtex-6 and Spartan-6 FPGA HDL Coding Techniques –Synthesis Options –XST Synthesis Options –Global Timing Constraints –Area Constraints…and MORE All of these Videos are available at no cost at

30 Page 30 Where Can I Learn More? Xilinx Education Services courses ― Xilinx tools and architecture courses Hardware description language courses Basic FPGA architecture and other topics (free Videos!)

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