Electronic Design

Custom Design Platform Aims For Silicon Accuracy

In the nanometer age of custom design, predictability will be extremely critical. At process geometries of 0.13 µm and below, what you model had better be what you get in silicon. The consequences for divergence will be severe, culminating in myriad physical effects that can be showstoppers in terms of device failures.

Cadence believes it has the answer to achieving accuracy in custom analog, RF, and mixed-signal design in its Virtuoso design platform. This specification-driven environment sports multimode simulation. The platform is available on both Cadence's CDBA database and the industry-standard OpenAccess database.

Three pillars support the Virtuoso platform. One, multimode simulation, provides Spice, FastSpice, analog/mixed-signal (A/M-S), and RF capabilities. These modes are offered as standalone simulators and in a single multimode licensing model. All use common syntax, models, and equations for identical results and high accuracy. They're also the same models and equations generated by the Virtuoso device modeling tools. Spice performance is three times faster and offers full HSpice compatibility.

A second pillar is a tenfold performance boost for the platform's accelerated layout tools. This cuts the time required for complex operations from minutes to seconds. Design-rule-driven support results in correct-by-construction layout. Other enhancements include OpenAccess support and rectilinear floorplanning within Virtuoso XL.

The last leg of the tripod, silicon analysis, is critical for A/M-S design at 0.18 µm and below. The Virtuoso AMS Silicon Analysis tool performs parasitic extraction, analog IR-drop analysis, and power-grid electromigration analysis. It combines those analyses with design-rule checking and layout-versus-schematic checking. The Virtuoso HF-AMS Silicon Analysis tool adds inductance extraction, electromigration, and a field solver for A/M-S designs at 1 GHz and higher.

U.S. pricing for a one-year license starts at $140,000 for Virtuoso multimode simulation, $15,000 for Virtuoso layout, and $100,000 for Virtuoso silicon analysis.

Cadence Design Systems

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