Electronic Design

"Circuit Engine" Soups Up Op-Amp Synthesis

This engine plug-in spits out synthesizable, fully customized op amps that come in 10 different topologies or architectures.

Analog synthesis, promised for some time but still not yet fully delivered, is at least making strides. Analog designers sorely need the productivity they'd gain from a full-scale synthesis capability. Most analog design flows lack automation of any kind. Rather, highly skilled analog designers go through innumerable iterations on their way to achieving the performance they crave.

Barcelona Design is at the forefront of analog synthesis, and its Prado synthesis platform is leading the way. The Prado platform accepts specification-based user inputs to produce full-custom analog circuits. Barcelona has been developing a series of "circuit engines" or plug-ins for the synthesis platform, each of which models a different combination of function, topology, and process technology. The circuit engines give the synthesis platform its ultimate utility as a productivity enhancer for analog designers.

The latest in Barcelona's family of circuit engines are the Picasso Class building-block engines. First out of the chute is the Picasso BOAS11-18 operational amplifier engine, enabling designers to choose from 10 different single-ended op-amp topologies targeted for low noise, high gain, and loop bandwidths approaching 1 GHz. Optimization objectives for the engine include power, unity-gain bandwidth, and area. The engine supports 0.18-µm CMOS processes.

With the op-amp engine plugged into the synthesis platform, designers are able to generate full-custom optimized circuits in a matter of minutes as opposed to weeks. It additionally eliminates much of the time-consuming and painstaking iterations that full-custom analog and mixed-signal design typically entails.

The Picasso BOAS11-18 op-amp engine suits applications such as DVDs, wireless phones and local-area networks, and Ethernet-based systems. Available now, it's compatible with all versions of the Prado synthesis platform.

Barcelona Design Inc.
(510) 897-1800

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