Integration technologies have favored the design and implementation of more complex circuits. Thanks to this increased complexity, these circuits are capable of implementing algorithms which a few years ago were too expensive in both area and computational resources. However, they now offer interesting choices which should be considered.
This new generation of integrated circuits nevertheless presents other kinds of restrictions that the designer should bear in mind. Parameters such as frequency of operation or power consumption are new restrictions that the designer has to deal with in order to fulfill the conditions established by the circuit functionality.
Finally, the shrinking integration scale of current technologies makes the timing behavior of the design differ from previous technologies. Thus, a review of the timing behavior of the digital circuit should be done. So far, arithmetic circuits have been used as a benchmark for the analysis and design procedures of digital circuits. Therefore, it is our goal now to analyze both conventional and modern arithmetic circuits structures for different deep-submicron technologies.
To achieve this goal, a good solution is to characterize a set of algorithmic circuits for several deep submicron processes, so that the designer can select the most suitable one depending upon the intended application and existing restrictions.
In this paper, the first steps to attain such selection are presented. In particular, we propose a design and VHDL characterization methodology based on an RTL description of each component, on the utilization of an automated synthesis tool, and on the generation of logic characteristics from the logic level. This methodology is applied to a set of adders structures, the results of which are also presented.