A Caltech Library Service

A Hierarchical Timing Simulation Model for Digital Integrated Circuits and Systems


Lin, Tzu-mu (1985) A Hierarchical Timing Simulation Model for Digital Integrated Circuits and Systems. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/41bh-7e43.


A hierarchical timing simulation model for digital MOS circuits and systems is presented. This model supports the structured design methodology, and can be applied to both "structure" and "behavior" representations of designs in a uniform manner. A simulator based on this model can run several orders of magnitude faster than any other simulators that offer the same amount of information.

At the structure (transistor) level, the transient behavior of a digital MOS circuit is approximated by that of an RC network for estimating delays. The Penfield-Rubinstein RC tree model is extended to include the effects of parallel paths and initial charge distributions. As far as delay is concerned, a two-port RC network is characterized by three parameters: R: series resistance, C: loading capacitance and D: internal delay. These parameters can be determined hierarchically as networks are composed in various ways. The composition rules are derived directly from the Kirchoff's current and voltage laws, so that the consistency with physics is established.

The (R, C, D) characterization of two-port RC networks is then generalized to describe the behavior of semantic cells at any level of representation. A semantic cell is a functional block which can be abstracted by its steady-state behavior to interface with other cells in the system. As semantic cells are composed, the parameters of the composite cell can be determined from those of the the component cells either analytically or by simulation. A Smalltalk implementation of the hierarchical timing simulation model is also presented.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Computer Science
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Computer Science
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Mead, Carver (advisor)
  • Ryser, Herbert J. (co-advisor)
Thesis Committee:
  • Ryser, Herbert J. (chair)
  • Bryant, Randy
  • Abu-Mostafa, Yaser S.
  • Barr, Alan H.
  • Mead, Carver
Defense Date:2 August 1984
Funding AgencyGrant Number
System Development FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-04102008-105646
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1331
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:17 Apr 2008
Last Modified:16 Apr 2021 22:33

Thesis Files

PDF (Lin_tm_1985.pdf) - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page