Coping with the Complexity of Microprocessor Design at Intel - A CAD History
Necessity has driven the evolution of microprocessor design practices and CAD tools at Intel Corporation, as the transistor count has grown by a factor of about 4X each processor generation. In order to cope with the complexity of design tasks, Intel's engineers were early adopters and adapters of innovative CAD research from universities. A unique partnership with Alberto's group in U.C. Berkeley during the 1980's has created one of the first industrial-strength synthesis-based design flows, which became the prevalent paradigm for the whole electronic industry. This paradigm enabled the semiconductor foundry business model, facilitated the proliferation of fab-less semiconductor companies all over the world, while enabling Intel designers to keep pace with Moore's Law.