Interpretation of Rent's Rule for ultralarge-scale integrated circuit designs, with application to wire-length distribution models

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Computer hardware components have changed significantly since the 1960's, 1970's, 1980's, and even since the early 1990's. Work concerning Rent's Rule prior to the present paper has been based on a 1971 interpretation of two unpublished memoranda written in 1960 by E. F. Rent at IBM, even though today's computer components are significantly different from those in 1960 and 1971. However, because of the significant changes in design and implementation of computer hardware components since 1960-1971, a new interpretation of Rent's Rule is needed for today's components. We have obtained copies of Rent's two memos; in these 1960 memos, E. F. Rent describes the method
that he used to deduce an empirical relationship between properties of IBM 1401 and 1410 computer hardware components. We have studied these memos carefully in order to understand Rent's original intent. Based on our careful reading of these two memos, the personal knowledge of one of us (R. Rand) with the 1401 and 1410 computers, and our experience with ULSI circuit design for high-performance microprocessors, we have derived an historically-equivalent interpretation of Rent's Rule suitable for today's computer components. The purpose of this paper is to present this new interpretation of Rent's Rule and its application to wirelength distributions of ultralarge-scale integrated (ULSI) circuits. In this paper, we will: (1) describe the contents of the memos and Rent's
method, (2) provide an historically-equivalent interpretation of Rent's Rule for today's computer components, and (3) apply this new interpretation to actual ULSI circuit designs. In this paper, we will show that this new interpretation provides improved wirelength distribution models with better qualitative agreement and more accurate estimates of wirelength distributions and wirelength
requirements in ULSI designs compared with prior methods.

By: Mary Yvonne Wisniewski, Giovanni Fiorenza, Rick A. Rand

Published in: IEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration Systems, volume 12, (no 12), pages 1330-47 in 2004


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