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AnXplorer from AgO Inc sets new standards in optimization for analog and RF circuit design
New simulation- or equation-based optimization tool AnXplorer accelerates device sizing and centers circuit across corners to improve device yield
The analog and mixed signal segment is growing much more rapidly than the rest of the semiconductor market. This trend is unlikely to change with the current massive growth in mobile data communications requiring both RF and mixedsignal design. By 2014, Cisco predicts that mobile data traffic will increase a staggering 39 fold from 2009 to 3.6 exabytes per month globally (source: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update 2009-2014). Despite this, analog design automation has remained largely unchanged for many years. Circuits are usually entered by schematic capture and device sizes are manually tuned over many transistorlevel simulation runs.
AnXplorer can fit into commonly used design toolsets as it works with industry standard SPICE netlists and simulators. A designer can create an unsized circuit, design variables and objectives. AnXplorer will then generate an optimized, centered circuit that meets or exceeds the design objectives across all corners specified by the user. It uses a new multialgorithmic optimization strategy aided by an expert system.
A major challenge facing developers of analog and mixed signal ICs is the frequent failure of analog circuits to meet their requirements. Design respins not only significantly inflate the IC's development costs but also adversely impact the final product's market entry. Hillol Sarkar, CEO of AgO Inc said "AnXplorer helps analog designers converge on their design objectives rapidly". He added, "Analog circuits are responsible for 50% of all IC design respins; by automating the analog circuit optimization, AnXplorer can significantly improve the likelihood of first time silicon success". The tool's optimization approach rigorously explores the design space searching for robust solutions over all process, temperature and supply voltage corners thereby improving yield.
Users can control the way optimization takes place by defining a hierarchy of design objectives. Unlike weightedbased handling of multiple objectives, the tool tries to meet high priority objectives before optimizing lower priority ones. AnXplorer's design exploration database records all points during the optimization process. This enables designers to undertake "whatif" analysis or to trade off conflicting objectives if all objectives cannot realistically be met.
AnXplorer is a new generation circuit optimization tool for analog and RF design. It uses a novel optimization approach based on either simulation or equations. The tool works with industry standard SPICE netlists and supports industry standard simulators including Synopsys HSPICE, Cadence Spectre and Legend Design Technology MSIM. It runs on the Linux operating system.
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