Setting New Standard in IP Characterization and Modeling for Designs Targeted at 28-nm and Below

Magma(R) Design Automation (Nasdaq:LAVA), a provider of chip design software, today announced SiliconSmart(R) ACE, a next-generation intellectual property characterization and modeling tool and the latest addition to the industry-standard SiliconSmart product line. By leveraging new Accelerated Circuit Engine (ACE) technology and embedding Magma's ultra-fast FineSim(TM) SPICE simulator, the fully automated SiliconSmart ACE flow delivers more accurate models and faster turnaround time than other tools, setting a new standard in IP characterization and modeling for designs targeted at 28-nanometer (nm) and smaller process nodes.

SiliconSmart ACE is an advanced characterization system that automatically performs static structural analysis on transistor-level netlists of simple standard cells and very complex custom cells or macros. It uses the results of this analysis to set up complete characterization constraints and then leverages the foundry-certified, highly accurate and ultra-fast FineSim SPICE simulator to increase the overall throughput of timing, power, noise and statistical static timing analysis (SSTA) model generation. SiliconSmart ACE not only offers faster characterization capabilities than other tools, it supports all industry-standard model formats and includes a closed-loop model validation flow that allows users to seamlessly launch third-party tools within the Magma system to verify the generated models.

"With SiliconSmart ACE, IP developers no longer need in-depth knowledge of a circuit's electrical operation to properly set up a characterization run. Delayed delivery of critical models for system-on-a-chip (SoC) sign-off or errors in modeling can be virtually eliminated," said Anirudh Devgan, general manager of Magma's Custom Design Business Unit. "The breakthrough technology in SiliconSmart ACE extracts functionality, identifies all electrical arcs, and optimizes the complete characterization methodology for efficiency and accuracy, significantly reducing the time and effort to model any IP component."

SiliconSmart ACE: Faster, Easier Sign-off

At the heart of SiliconSmart ACE are Magma's proprietary circuit functional recognition, vector generation and FineSim SPICE simulation technology. Each contributes to the ease of setup, accelerated characterization throughput and improved quality of model sign-off in Magma's characterization solution.

  • Leveraging advanced algorithms, SiliconSmart ACE automatically recognizes and models the functionality of standard cell and complex circuits and generates an efficient vector set for all timing arcs. By eliminating time-consuming, manual analyses, SiliconSmart ACE dramatically reduces the time required to set up and characterize complex components across a wide range of process points, supply voltages and junction temperatures. The ability to efficiently handle the increasing number of process, voltage and temperature (PVT) points is critical to 28-nm design success.
  • SiliconSmart ACE's intelligent topology-driven vector generation features unique structure-based vector optimization and an intrinsic, simulation-induced constraint acceleration algorithm. These features eliminate vector redundancy and avoid unnecessary simulation while maintaining characterization accuracy. SiliconSmart ACE also offers a flexible methodology, allowing the user to supply a vector set and its sequence for specific measurements.
  • SiliconSmart ACE supports commercially available SPICE simulators, including Magma's FineSim SPICE. When used in conjunction with FineSim SPICE, SiliconSmart ACE's optimized vector generation capabilities deliver order-of-magnitude faster throughput than previous generations of SiliconSmart, without any loss of accuracy. FineSim SPICE is a full SPICE simulator that is certified by a major foundry for 65-, 40- and 28-nm nodes and is widely used by analog and mixed-signal designers.

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