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VLSI Research

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Semi-annual technical research and development status rept. Oct 1983-Apr 1984

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A scaled version of the RISC II chip has been fabricated and tested and these new chips have a cycle time that would outperform a VAX 11780 by about a factor of two on compiled integer C programs. The architectural work on a RISC chip designed for a Smalltalk implementation has been completed. This chip, called SOAR Smalltalk On a RISC, should run program s4-15 times faster than the Xerox 1100 Dolphin, a TTL minicomputer, and about as fast as the Xerox 1132 Dorado, a 100,000 ECL minicomputer. The 1983 VLSI tools tape has been converted for use under the latest UNIX release 4.2. The Magic formerly called Caddy layout system will be a unified set of highly automated tools that cover all aspects of the layout process, including stretching, compaction, tiling and routing. A multiple window package and design rule checker for this system have just been completed and compaction and stretching are partially implemented. New slope-based timing models for the Crystal timing analyzer are now fully implemented and in regular use. In an accuracy test using a dozen critical paths from the RISC II processor and cache chips it was found that Crystals estimates were within 5-10 of SPICEs estimates, while being a factor of 10,000 times faster.

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  • Electrical and Electronic Equipment

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