The first and the most critical stage in VLSI layout design is the placement, the background of which is the rectangle packing problem: Given many rectangular modules of arbitrary size, place them without overlapping on a layer in the smallest bounding rectangle. Since the variety of the packing is infinitely many (two-dimensionally continuous), the key issue for successful optimization is in the introduction of a P-admissible solution space, which is a finite set of solutions at least one of which is optimal. This paper proposes such a solution space where each packing is represented by a pair of module name sequences. Searching this space by simulated annealing, hundreds of modules could be successfully packed as demonstrated. Combining a conventional wiring method, the biggest MCNC benchmark ami49 is challenged.
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