Berkeley Design Automation Introduces ACE System to Analyze Nanometer-Scale Analog and Mixed-Signal Circuits

Berkeley Design Automation, Inc., provider of the world’s fastest nanometer circuit verification, today announced the immediate availability of Analog Characterization Environment (ACE™)—a high-productivity system to ensure nanometer-scale analog and mixed-signal circuits meet rigorous design performance requirements.

ACE provides an intuitive user interface to rapidly setup, launch, monitor, report, and visually analyze complex circuit characterization runs. ACE supports leading SPICE-compatible simulators, standard measure formats, and operates both as a standalone tool and integrated with the industry’s leading analog design environment.

Ensuring circuits meet specifications under all operating conditions, environmental conditions, process variations, and combinations thereof requires dramatically increasing time and effort as circuit complexity increases and process geometries decrease. Failure to test even one scenario can lead to an expensive silicon respin or performance de-rated silicon. Circuit designers working from the command line do not have an easy way to define, run, and document their circuit characterization. Those working within design environments struggle with cumbersome use models, slow simulation runtimes, costly licensing, inadequate reporting, and difficulty accessing their own data. ACE directly addresses these issues—enabling designers to systematically and easily ensure comprehensive characterization coverage with literally a fraction of the time, effort, and expense.

Analog Characterization Environment provides an intuitive user interface with nearly identical corner, sweep, and Monte Carlo set-ups. ACE reads corner information from the process design kit (PDK) or the user’s analog design environment, and it supports measures in existing industry standard formats for facilitating specification analysis. Designers can drag-and-drop characterization objects to create complex nests in seconds, define multiple-test run matrices, launch and monitor jobs, visually analyze results, and generate hierarchical reports. ACE also includes unique distribution analysis capabilities such as mixed data set viewing, stacked histograms, worst-case yield analysis, and patent-pending Monte Carlo iteration probability. ACE supports industry standard simulators, including the Berkeley Design Automation foundry certified Analog FastSPICE™ (AFS) circuit simulator which is 5x-10x faster and 3x-4x more license efficient than any circuit simulator for circuit characterization applications.

“Traditional approaches have simply not kept up with the increasing complexity of nanometer-scale circuit characterization requirements,” said Ravi Subramanian, President and CEO of Berkeley Design Automation. “ACE is specifically designed to enable today’s circuit designers to quickly, easily, and comprehensively characterize their nanometer analog and mixed-signal circuits to ensure silicon success. By automating the tedious and error-prone tasks, ACE enables designers to work on high-value design and verification tasks.”

The Analog FastSPICE Platform provides the world’s fastest circuit verification for nanometer analog, RF, mixed-signal, and custom digital circuits. Foundry certified to 20nm, the AFS Platform delivers nanometer SPICE accuracy 5x-10x faster than traditional SPICE and 2x-4x faster than parallel SPICE simulators. For large circuits the AFS Platform delivers >10M-element capacity and the fastest mixed-signal simulation. For silicon-accurate characterization it includes the industry’s only comprehensive full-spectrum device noise analysis and a high-productivity Analog Characterization Environment—both of which deliver 5x-10x speedup over alternative approaches.


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