Engineers use large amounts of stereotype knowledge about basic circuit components and design techniques when designing a circuit. This knowledge is used to guide design decisions in order to produce an optimal design. Such stereotyped knowledge can be represented as frames in a knowledge based system and such a knowledge base can be used to implement a silicon compiler. This paper describes a pilot system we are developing at SFU which uses frames to represent abstract models of circuit components. Filling in the slots of the frame results in the refinement of an abstract model into a layout. The pilot system will design storage structures such as static RAMs and registers using standard cells. With the experience we gain from this pilot system we plan to develop a knowledge base system which can translate a register transfer level description of a circuit into a layout of acceptable quality.
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