Software enables IP re-use through technology migration
Development of analogue and mixed signal IP and its migration can be accelerated with the ID-Xplore software tool, claims EDA start-up, Intento Design.
It allows designers to automate the sizing, biasing and migration of analogue and mixed-signal IP across technology platforms. By eliminating the lengthy simulations inherent in analogue design even when migrating IP to new technologies, the tool frees design teams to focus on innovation, says the company.
Higher integration, points out the company, will make wireless sensor-enabled objects (smartphones, wearables, automotive, home automation, industrial and cloud applications) a reality, while achieving the balance of performance, low power consumption, portability and ruggedness.
Traditionally, analogue and mixed-signal design requires engineers to compute initial circuit dimensions from hand analysis using first-order transistor models, followed by successive simulations. This time-consuming process can take weeks for a complex circuit, but it can be accelerated with software that plugs into the existing design flows and standard tools, and automates the circuit sizing, biasing and migration, thereby reducing the number of simulator calls by a factor of five to 40. This allows designers to move on to layout, placement and routing in a fraction of the time, claims the company.
ID-Xplore plugs into existing tools and flows from Cadence and Mentor Graphics. Engineers input the desired parameters for complex analogue functions, specifying the parameters that must be met by the circuit; reviewing the options based on desired power consumption, performance and surface area; and selecting the optimal solution. Using this methodology, designers can explore the most effective topology for a given application, even while addressing changes to IP blocks for new application constraints, such as changing specifications for industry standards (WiFi, Bluetooth).
Analogue and mixed-signal blocks can be ported from one process technology to another, with all fabs and processes supported. The technology documents the design process and makes the IP reusable as designs are migrated to new process technologies.