Electronic Design

Simulator Spices Up Analog/Mixed-Signal Design

In enhancing its HSpice simulator, Synopsys increases simulation speed, accuracy, and versatility. HSpice now offers runtime improvements of up to 203 for transient analysis. Also, a new harmonic-balance engine targets simulation of high-frequency designs. HSpice, one of the cornerstones of Synopsys' Discovery AMS verification suite, maintains the "golden" accuracy level that designers expect from a Spice simulator.

The key enabler in HSpice's improved performance is an enhanced time-step control algorithm combined with a simplified simulation-control interface. All simulation tolerances are scaled simultaneously using a single control option, eliminating the need for users to adjust multiple option settings. HSpice automatically maximizes each time-step size to meet the desired accuracy level.

Transient simulations see an average speedup of 33 without loss of accuracy. An improved, easier-to-use interface enables less experienced users to get the most out of the tool. The harmonic-balance engine supports high-capacity, nonlinear simulation of high-frequency designs.

The tool performs periodic steady-state analysis, periodic noise and phase-noise analysis, and periodic AC analysis. These analyses make critical measurements on building-block components of wireless applications, such as RF transceivers in cell phones, wireless local-area networks, and PDAs. HSpice can handle more than 8000 transistors, enabling it to simulate entire blocks or small complete designs.

HSpice is priced at $20,000 per year for a time-based license.

Synopsys Inc.

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