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Understanding Hierarchical Design


Rowson, James Allely (1980) Understanding Hierarchical Design. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/Z9BP00R2.


With the exponential improvement in integrated circuit technology comes the problem of how to design systems containing millions of devices. This thesis presents a new look at hierarchical design based on the Caltech structured design methodology. The hierarchy is separated into two parts: leaf cells, containing no instances of other cells, and composition cells, containing only instances of other cells. A leaf cell can be implemented in many different representations. A representation consists of a set of leaf cells and a composition rule that builds correct higher level cells. The separated hierarchy is suitable for mathematical analysis by the use of Curry's theory of combinators. In this form, a hierarchy is represented by a mathematical operator that produces a digital system from the leaf cells. The question of hierarchical equivalence is examined. Three sample composition rules, or algorithms, are presented as examples. The SLAP system provides a geometry composition rule that produces the mask description of a system given the geometries of the leaf cells. In analogy to TYPEing in a programming language, two representations that enforce a certain design style are discussed. The first TYPE system guarantees signal integrity. The second TYPE system guarantees mutual exclusion between the sources on a bus.

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
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:15 April 1980
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-12062006-104710
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ItemComputer Science Technical Reports 1980.3710 in CaltechAUTHORS
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:4816
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:22 Dec 2006
Last Modified:02 Dec 2020 01:11

Thesis Files

PDF (Rowson_ja_1980.pdf) - Final Version
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