A Rent's Rule characterization of recursive bisection captures a measure of the locality in a netlist or graph. From this characterization, we know we can establish a lower bound on layout area implied by wiring. When applying this lower bound to the design of programmable or switched networks, we are ultimately concerned for both the switching requirements and the wiring requirements. Switch requirements are particularly important in conventional VLSI where (a) a switchpoint consumes considerably more area than a wire crossing and (b) switchpoints must reside on the active surface, whereas wiring may take place on any of several wire layers. The most straight-forward, limited-bisection switching networks have switching requirements which grow as O(N2p), similar to wiring requirements. In practice, however, this leaves switching dominating wiring. We show that there are limited-bisection networks with O(N) switching growth and highlight some of the tradeoffs between wire utilization and switching, routing complexity, routing guarantees, and switch latency within this design space.
Copyright 2001 ACM, Inc.