Electronic Design

Macro Models Serve Dynamic Voltage-Drop Analysis For SoCs

Large macros and memories used in system-on-a-chip (SoC) designs can save time, but they can also be a bear when it comes to verifying them from a power-integrity standpoint. Their internal physical and logical complexity, along with their sheer size, can be too much to handle for transistor-level analysis tools. Such tools can perform accurate voltage-drop analysis on each transistor's current waveform, but they lack the capacity for the job.

Sequence Design's macro modeling technology creates highly accurate representations of macros for chip-level power-integrity analysis while sidestepping the capacity blues. The Sequence Macro Modeling using Advanced Region Technique (SMMART) will enhance Sequence's Cool Products power-integrity tools by overcoming the lack of adequate characterization data in Liberty (.lib) energy models.

SMMART modeling enables CoolTime, Sequence's power-grid integrity product, to handle spatial current modeling of macros and memories with weighted distributions for different memory sections (called regions in CoolTime, e.g., decoders, sense amps, or bit arrays; regions can be user-defined as well).

Also, the tool can perform temporal modeling for various modes of operation, modeling the current over time from the Synopsys .lib models. Doing so requires characterized current waveforms from a fast-Spice simulator, such as HSIM. Modeling can be performed using a single waveform per memory or multiple waveforms per region (see the figure).

CoolTime now also offers a 40% reduction in memory footprint and runtime for dynamic voltage drop analysis and a tenfold improvement in disk usage for dynamic voltage drop optimization. Hold time optimization algorithms now insert up to 20% fewer buffers to limit engineering change order changes, accelerate design closure, and reduce power as well.

Contact Sequence directly for pricing and delivery information.

Sequence Design

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