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Researchers provide new circuit design option

Posted: 07 Aug 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:circuit? analog? mixed-signal? verification tool?

Indian engineers said they have found a new way to develop behavioral models for analog and mixed-signal circuit designs based on modular architectures that can be reused in future designs.

They added that the new methodology will enable users to model different modes, using the best models in system-level verification and testbench development.

Using the new method, target functionalities or behaviors to be modeled for circuits are partitioned into many mutually exclusive modes of operation, where a circuit can operate in any mode. Each mode is then modeled using existing techniques. A controller is then enhanced, controlling the behavior of the overall model.

"These models are primarily useful for system-level verification of large analog and mixed-signal designs," said the engineering team, including researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur and National Semiconductor. One problem they cited in structural partitioning-based modeling, where the design netlist is partitioned, is that the models cannot be developed until the design architecture is known. "In current design methodologies, a modeling methodology is required that supports model development at a very early stage of the design flow when only the specification of a design is available. It is advantageous to have a modeling methodology that supports model development from specification, as well as from netlist," they added.

"Our approach also allows users to model different modes with different detailing," they noted. "After dividing the modeling problem into several modes of operation, we need to combine them properly to generate the overall behavioral model. This is the combined step. To do this, we need to model a controller responsible for the mode transitions," the researchers said.

They added that the benefit of the new method is that it helps to divide the modeling problem into manageable pieces, and then recombines them to obtain the model of the larger circuit. The results are reusable, and the approach leads to the modeling of different behaviors at different levels of precision.

"With the growing need of behavioral modeling both in design and verification of large, integrated mixed-signal designs, we believe such a practical methodology for developing behavioral modeling is essential," the researchers stressed.

- K.C. Krishnadas
EE Times

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