11.10 Modeling Delay
Verilog has a set of built-in methods to define delays. This is very important in ASIC physical design. Before we start layout, we can use ASIC cell library models written in Verilog that include logic delays as a function of fanout and estimated wiring loads. After we have completed layout, we can extract the wiring capacitance, allowing us to calculate the exact delay values. Using the techniques described in this section, we can then back-annotate our Verilog netlist with postlayout delays and complete a postlayout simulation.
We can complete this back-annotation process in a standard fashion since delay specification is part of the Verilog language. This makes working with an ASIC cell library and the ASIC foundry that will fabricate our ASIC much easier. Typically an ASIC library company might sell us a cell library complete with Verilog models that include all the minimum, typical, and maximum delays as well as the different values for rising and falling transitions. The ASIC foundry will provide us with a delay calculator that calculates the net delays (this is usually proprietary technology) from the layout. These delays are held in a separate file (the Standard Delay Format, SDF, is widely used) and then mapped to parameters in the Verilog models. If we complete back-annotation and a postlayout simulation using an approved cell library, the ASIC foundry will "sign off" on our design. This is basically a guarantee that our chip will work according to the simulation. This ability to design sign-off quality ASIC cell libraries is very important in the ASIC design process.
We saw how to specify a delay control for any statement in Section 11.6. In fact, Verilog allows us to specify minimum, typical, and maximum values for the delay as follows [Verilog LRM7.15]:
#(1.1:1.3:1.7) assign delay_a = a; // min:typ:max
wire #(1.1:1.3:1.7) a_delay; // min:typ:max
wire #(1.1:1.3:1.7) a_delay = a; // min:typ:max
In Section 11.9.1 we explained that we can specify a delay for a logic primitive. We can also specify minimum, typical, and maximum delays as well as separate delays for rising and falling transitions for primitives as follows [Verilog LRM4.3]:
nand #3.0 nd01(c, a, b); nand #(2.6:3.0:3.4) nd02(d, a, b); // min:typ:max nand #(2.8:3.2:3.4, 2.6:2.8:2.9) nd03(e, a, b); // #(rising, falling) delay
The first NAND gate,
Some primitives can produce
a high-impedance output,
wire #(0.5,0.6,0.7) a_z = a; // rise/fall/float delays
The specify block [Verilog LRM 13] is a special construct in Verilog that allows the definition of pin-to-pin delays across a module. The use of a specify block can include the use of built-in system functions to check setup and hold times, for example. The following example illustrates how to specify pin-to-pin timing for a D flip-flop. We declare the timing parameters first followed by the paths. This example uses the UDP from Section 11.9.2, which does not include preset and clear (so only part of the flip-flop function is modeled), but includes the timing for preset and clear for illustration purposes.
module DFF_Spec; reg D, clk; DFF_Part DFF1 (Q, clk, D, pre, clr); initial begin D = 0; clk = 0; #1; clk = 1; end initial ("T=%2g", ," clk=", clk," Q=", Q); endmodule module DFF_Part(Q, clk, D, pre, clr); input clk, D, pre, clr; output Q; DFlipFlop(Q, clk, D); // No preset or clear in this UDP. specify specparam tPLH_clk_Q = 3, tPHL_clk_Q = 2.9, tPLH_set_Q = 1.2, tPHL_set_Q = 1.1; (clk => Q) = (tPLH_clk_Q, tPHL_clk_Q); (pre, clr *> Q) = (tPLH_set_Q, tPHL_set_Q); endspecify endmodule T= 0 clk=0 Q=x T= 1 clk=1 Q=x T= 4 clk=1 Q=0
`timescale 1 ns / 100 fs module M_Spec; reg A1, A2, B; M M1 (Z, A1, A2, B); initial begin A1=0;A2=1;B=1;#5;B=0;#5;A1=1;A2=0;B=1;#5;B=0; end initial ("T=%4g",," A1=",A1," A2=",A2," B=",B," Z=",Z); endmodule `timescale 100 ps / 10 fs module M(Z, A1, A2, B); input A1, A2, B; output Z; or (Z1, A1, A2); nand (Z, Z1, B); // OAI21 /*A1 A2 B Z Delay=10*100 ps unless indicated in the table below. 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 B:0->1 Z:1->0 delay=t2 0 1 1 0 B:1->0 Z:0->1 delay=t1 1 0 0 1 B:0->1 Z:1->0 delay=t4 1 0 1 0 B:1->0 Z:0->1 delay=t3 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 */ specify specparam t1 = 11, t2 = 12; specparam t3 = 13, t4 = 14; (A1 => Z) = 10; (A2 => Z) = 10; if (~A1) (B => Z) = (t1, t2); if (A1) (B => Z) = (t3, t4); endspecify endmodule T= 0 A1=0 A2=1 B=1 Z=x T= 1 A1=0 A2=1 B=1 Z=0 T= 5 A1=0 A2=1 B=0 Z=0 T= 6.1 A1=0 A2=1 B=0 Z=1 T= 10 A1=1 A2=0 B=1 Z=1 T= 11 A1=1 A2=0 B=1 Z=0 T= 15 A1=1 A2=0 B=0 Z=0 T=16.3 A1=1 A2=0 B=0 Z=1