Macro In VLSI

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Macro In VLSI

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VLSI, or Very Large-Scale Integration, embeds thousands of transistors into a single chip in an Integrated Circuit. Macro is an essential component in the VLSI design cycle before the final packaged chip is ready to use. Macro cells are the memory cells, intellectual property which an analog design team has designed. To break down the understanding of macro cells, consider macro cells as pieces of logic blocks, mainly intellectual properties (IP), which can be used in a design without the need to (of) building them from scratch. Thus, these memory cells are instrumental in reducing the total time for the design engineers that is required to complete their entire design. There are mainly two types of macros they are as given below:-

1. Soft macros

Soft macros are synthesizable register transfer level (RTL) design forms, have more flexibility, and can be configured compared to hard complex macros. Using Soft macros in the design is a risk factor because of its being unpredictable behavior in timing, performance and power. Often However, soft macros can provide better IP protection as the RTL source code is more portable. Moreover, soft macros are editable and contain normal cells than any other hard macros.

2. Hard macros

Hard macros are targeted Integrated Circuits (IC) manufacturing technology. One can only access pins of hard macros and cannot manipulate the RTL of this hard macro. Hard macros are block-level designs optimized for power, area, or timing. 

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