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RLC extraction tool supports Cadence, Mentor flows

Posted: 31 Jan 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Sequence design? Columbus rf? Columbus ams? rls extraction tool? soc design?

Inductance-modeling pioneer Sequence Design Inc. released an RLC extraction tool that supports large mixed-signal designs in both Cadence and Mentor design flows.

Columbus-AMS is based on Columbus-RF and is part of Sequence's ExtractionStage, a suite of high-performance tools tuned for multimillion-gate SoC and analog/mixed-signal designs. In addition to mixed-signal circuits, Columbus-AMS supports full-custom digital designs of 1 million transistors or more.

Big analog

"Many designers think they are building circuits with small amounts of analog and large amounts of digital transistors [small A/big D]. But when it comes to parasitics, there is no 'small A,'" said Rob Mathews, director of technical marketing for the extraction product line at Sequence Design. "This is especially true with wireless handsets, where everything is big A/big D."

Inductance extraction tools have become a key differentiator for Sequence, according to William Ruby, the company's director of product marketing. In analog circuits, Ruby said, inductance adversely affects gain and frequency response, as well as the bit error rate of communications circuits. In digital circuits, inductance commonly increases delay and clock skew by as much as 35 percent.

RLC extraction tools constitute an $80 million to $100 million market, and Ruby estimated that his company has close to a 10 percent share. Gartner Dataquest has estimated that the RLC extraction market will hit $143.9 million this year and rise to $261 million by 2006.

Customers using Columbus-AMS typically achieve results within 2 percent to 5 percent of a field solver but with a smaller computer run-time, said Mathews. One customer is IBM Microelectronics, which uses the Columbus extraction tools to develop design kits for its SiGe processes.

Columbus-AMS is already integrated into Cadence Design Systems Inc.'s Analog Design environment through that company's Connections program and supports both Cadence's Diva flow (which is used by IBM) and Mentor Graphics Corp.'s Calibre flow. Columbus-AMS also works with Calibre in a standalone flow for full-chip batch-mode extraction runs.

Diva, as a layout-vs.-schematic comparison tool, is suited for small, standalone circuits, while the Calibre flow supports much larger designs, Ruby said.

Existing users may upgrade their current versions of Columbus-RF.

- Stephan Ohr

EE Times

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