scan chain REORDERING , why it is required

Scan chain reordering is an optimization technique to ensure scan chains are connected in more efficient way – based upon the placement of the flip-flops. At initial stage , we donot have the placement information, so we just stitch the flops register by register. The tools will stitch the flops randomly to form a scan chain before placement. For proper understanding flops are numbered and two scan chains are stitched in the screen shot shown below.

Before Placement

But after placement it might be possible that the two flops stitched at initial stage of a different block sits far from each other when the placement is done. So if we keep the same scan chain order, we will face the placement congestion and timing congestion and more routing resources are required.

After placement and before scan reordering

We can see from above screenshot, depending on the timing and placement congestion flops are placed at different locations when compared to before placement figure. This results in usage of more resources, space congestion increases and also timing violations. By reordering the scan cells in the scan chain we can reduce the congestion

In order to avoid the congestion before placement we have to follow the below steps

  • Disconnect the scan chain in the designing.
  • Based on the timing and congestion the tool optimizes the standard cells
  • Once the placement was done, reordering of scan chains are done based on the timing and placement congestion in design by maintaining the same number of scan cells .
After scan chain reordering

SCANDEF file contains the scan chain information of the design and this file need to be read during PnR.