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Title:Validation and optimization of analog circuits using randomized search algorithms
Author(s):Ahmadyan, Seyed Nematollah
Director of Research:Vasudevan, Shobha
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Vasudevan, Shobha
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Kesavadas, Thenkurussi; Li, Xin; Mitra, Sayan; Rutenbar, Rob; Wong, Martin
Department / Program:Electrical & Computer Eng
Discipline:Electrical & Computer Engr
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Analog circuits
Abstract:Analog circuits represent a large percentage of the chips used in mobile computing, communication devices, electric vehicles, and portable medical equipment today. Rapid scaling and shrinking chip geometrics introduce new challenging problems in verification, validation, and optimization of analog circuits. These problems include test generation and compression, runtime monitoring and analyzing the worst-case behaviors. State of the art techniques in Monte Carlo are unable to address these problems effectively. Consequently, designing an efficient and scalable CAD algorithm to address such problems is highly desirable.  In this thesis, we introduce Duplex, a methodology for search and optimization. Duplex supports optimizing nonconvex nonlinear functions and functionals. We use duplex to solve problems in analog validation and machine learning. Duplex uses random tree data structures. Duplex is based on partitioning and separating the problem space into multiple smaller spaces such as input, state and the function space. Duplex simultaneously controls, biases and monitors the growth of the random trees in the partitioned spaces. We have used the duplex framework to solve practical problems in analog and mixed signal validation like directed input stimuli generation, compressing analog stress tests, worst-case eye diagram analysis, performance optimization, machine learning, and monitoring runtime behaviors of analog circuits. We used Duplex for validation and optimization of analog circuits. Duplex automatically generates input stimuli that expose bugs and improves coverage. Duplex automatically finds input corners that result in worst-case eye diagrams. Duplex simultaneously explores the parameter and performance spaces of analog circuits to optimize the circuit for best performance. We monitored the random trees and circuit execution against the specification properties described in formal languages. We formulated many challenging problems in the analog circuits, such as test compression and eye diagram analysis, as functional optimization problems. We use Duplex to solve these functional optimization problems.  We propose the Duplex algorithm as an optimization algorithm to posit the framework to other domains. Duplex can address nonlinear and functional optimization problems in continuous and discrete spaces such as design-space exploration and supervised and unsupervised machine learning. The advantages of the duplex framework are efficiency, scalability and versatility. We consistently show orders of magnitude speedup improvements over the state of the art while objectively improving the quality of results. For generating input stimuli, duplex is the first technique that simultaneously does directed input stimulus generation and increases test coverage. We show over two orders of magnitude speedup over Monte Carlo simulations. For runtime monitoring, we check a large scalable circuit against a very expressive set of formal properties that were not possible to monitor before. For generating worst-case eye diagram, we show at least $20\times$ speedup and better quality of results in comparison to the state of the art. Duplex is the first work to provide transient test compression for analog circuits. We compress stress tests up to 96\%. We optimize analog circuits using Duplex and we show speedup and improved results with respect to the state of the art. We use Duplex to train supervised and unsupervised models and show improved accuracy in all cases.
Issue Date:2016-11-30
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Seyed Nematollah Ahmadyan
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-03-01
Date Deposited:2016-12

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