Synopsys Tutorial: Power Estimation

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Power Estimation with OSU Standard Cell Library and Synopsys tools (PrimeTime-Px)

By Syed Haider

Setting Up Standard Cell Library and Project Directory

1. Download Oklahoma State University Library from

Specifically, from:

Download the iitcells_lib_2.3.tar.gz package.

2. untar the library somewhere nice like your home directory where you will really never touch it (i.e. /home/syedh/). The Directory will be called iit_stdcells.

3. Create a project directory somewhere else. (example: mkdir /home/syedh/Project1) In Project1 create another directory called WORK.

4. Back in Project1 directory create an empty file called: .synopsys_dc.setup

This file will specify to Synopsys and design_vision software what libraries you are using. A sample version of the file is listed below. The path after “/home/syedh/” should remain unchanged if this tutorial is being followed correctly!!!

<source lang="tcl">

  1. .synopsys_dc.setup file
  2. Define the target tehcnology library, symbol library,
  3. and link libraries

set target_library /home/syedh/iit_stdcells/lib/tsmc018/lib/iit018_stdcells.db

  1. do not have a symbol library
  2. set symbol_library
  1. set link library (set as same as target library)

set link_library “/home/syedh/iit_stdcells/lib/tsmc018/lib/iit018_stdcells.db *”

set designer "Your Name" </source>

5. Copy /home/syedh/iit_stdcells/lib/tsmc018/lib/iit018_stdcells.v into Project1 Directory.

6. Now it is design time. Create verilog description of something amazing. Here is a design of a full adder and some registers that spans multiple design files (full_adder.v, top.v):

//full_adder.v //This is a module for a 1 bit Full Adder module full_adder(a,b, c_in, s, c_out);

input a, b, c_in; output wire s, c_out;

assign s = a ^ b ^ c_in; assign c_out = ((a & b)) | (c_in & (a^b));



//top.v //This contains a full adder with some registers for input and output. `timescale 1ns/10ps module top (clk, a, b, c_in, sum, c_out);

input clk, a, b, c_in; output sum, c_out;

reg in_a; reg in_b; reg sum_reg; reg c_out_reg; reg c_in_reg;

full_adder fa1(.a(in_a), .b(in_b), .c_in(c_in_reg), .s(sum), .c_out(c_out));

always @(posedge clk) begin in_a = a; in_b = b; c_in_reg = c_in; c_out_reg = c_out; sum_reg = sum; end endmodule

7. Now it is time to create a test bench file to test the design. The things that will be highlighted in purple are system tasks that will create dumps (value change dumps) of signals in your design.

//tb_top.v //testbench `timescale 1ns/10ps module tb_top();

reg clk; reg a, b, c_in; wire c_out, sum;

//clocking description initial begin clk = 0; end

//clock period is #100 always begin

  1. 50

clk = ~clk; end

//initialize input to full adder initial begin a = 0; b = 0; c_in = 0; end

/////////////////////////////// // Toggle the inputs at varying rates ///////////////////////////////

//toggle carry_in initial begin

  1. 60;

repeat (50) begin c_in <= ~c_in; #100; end end

//toggle a initial begin

  1. 60;

repeat (25) begin a <= ~a; #200; end end

//toggle b and setup vcd dump initial begin $dumpfile("dmp_top.vcd"); //read verilog book for more info on system command $dumpvars(0,top);

  1. 60;

$dumpon; repeat (10) begin b <= ~b; #500; end $dumpoff; $finish; //ends simulation end

//Module under test top uut(.clk(clk), .a(a), .b(b), .c_in(c_in), .sum(sum), .c_out(c_out));


8. Now comes the time to create a synthesized top level design from {full_adder.v top.v}. We are interested in creating a synthesized version of “top”. At command prompt type the following:

Synopsys design_vision

Now a design_vision gui has started up. In this gui follow these steps:

In Menu: File --> Analyze. A Dialog box will appear called “Analyze Designs”. Click the “Add..” button and add every design file {full_adder.v top.v}. You can do this one file at a time or all at one time by using the CTRL key to select multiple files. After adding all the files press OK.

In Menu: Design --> Elaborate. A Dialog box will appear called “Elaborate Designs”. There will be a drop down selection menu called “Design”. In this selection menu there will be two objects listed: top(verilog) and full_adder(verilog). Make sure that top(verilog) is selected. Press OK.

Now in the Design Vision the “Hier 1” window will have objects listed in it.

In Menu: Design --> Compile. In the dialog box that shows up press OK.

In Menu: File --> Save As. Save the design as a verilog design with a new name (ex. top_syn.v).

9. Exit the gui and in the command prompt type exit to quit out of the design_vision_xg_t shell. Then type exit again to quit Synopsys.

10. Now it is time to simulate the synthesized design, top_syn.v, with the testbench, tb_top.v. The verilog simulator program of Synopsys is called VCX. The first step is to write a script for the simulation:

  1. vcs_script.scr
  2. This is a script file for VCX simulator

./tb_top.v ./top_syn.v -v ./iit018_stdcells.v +libext+.v +nolibcell +define+VPD+SAIF+VCD+SDF

11. At command prompt type: Synopsys

     Now type: vcs -f vcs_script.scr
     The result of running this command is that an executable called simv is created.

12. Run simv : ./simv

13. Now the file dmp_top.vcd has been created.

14. Now we will use a tool called PrimeTime-Px to get power estimation. The following script called power.scr will be used.

  1. power.scr

set power_enable_analysis TRUE set target_library "/home/syedh/iit_stdcells/lib/tsmc018/lib/iit018_stdcells.db" set link_library "/home/syedh/iit_stdcells/lib/tsmc018/lib/iit018_stdcells.db *"

read_db $target_library read_verilog top_syn.v current_design test_inverter link read_vcd dmp_top.vcd -strip_path tb_top/uut create_power_waveforms –output vcd report_power

15. At the Synopsys command prompt type: pt_shell

     Now run the power.scr: source power.scr

16. If all went right the output from the script should look something like this:


Summary: Total number of nets = 11 Number of annotated nets = 11 (100.00%) Total number of leaf cells = 7 Number of fully annotated leaf cells = 7 (100.00%)


Information: The waveform options are:

               File name:      power_waves.fsdb
               File format:    fsdb
               Time interval:  0.01ns
               Hierarchical level:     all

Information: Power analysis is running, please wait ...

Information: analysis is done for time window (0ns - 5050ns)

Report : Event Based Power Design : top Version: Z-2007.06-SP3 Date  : Wed Feb 13 14:34:11 2008

     i  -  Including register clock pin internal power
     u  -  User defined power group
                       Internal  Switching  Leakage    Total

Power Group Power Power Power Power (  %) Attrs

io_pad 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 ( 0.00%) memory 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 ( 0.00%) black_box 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 ( 0.00%) clock_network 3.292e-06 0.0000 0.0000 3.292e-06 (58.67%) i register 6.722e-07 4.735e-07 4.822e-10 1.146e-06 (20.42%) combinational 8.640e-07 3.086e-07 4.037e-10 1.173e-06 (20.90%) sequential 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 ( 0.00%)

 Net Switching Power  = 7.821e-07   (13.94%)
 Cell Internal Power  = 4.828e-06   (86.05%)
 Cell Leakage Power   = 8.859e-10   ( 0.02%)

Total Power = 5.611e-06 (100.00%)

X Transition Power = 0.0000 Glitching Power = 2.152e-08

Peak Power = 4.726e-03 Peak Time = 550.100

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