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Rapid advancements in the semiconductor industry have resulted in an ever-increasing need for analog layout automation. Analog circuits often use structures such as current mirrors and differential pairs, where grouping and matching of device characteristics are vital. Virtuoso has paved its way through these challenges by providing high-end tools that ensure faster convergence on design goals and efficient layout implementation.
In this blog, I'll give you an overview of one such tool—the Virtuoso® Module Generator, popularly known as Modgen.
Modgen allows you to create highly matched arrays of devices directly on the canvas. The tool provides options to select the required instances and group them into a gridded layout, which you can then customize as per your requirements.
One of the most useful features of Modgen is that it can be used from both Virtuoso Schematic Editor and Virtuoso Layout Editor.
Here's an animation that highlights the key features of Modgen:
Virtuoso provides a very intuitive and powerful interface to create and customize Modgen. You can edit Modgen in two modes:
Do you want a dedicated space to view and edit your Modgen? The Modgen Editor window is the solution to all your customization needs, with options that are neatly organized in toolbars and assistants.
Are you in the middle of a task and want to edit a Modgen without opening the Modgen editor window? You can use the Modgen on-canvas editing options to create and customize Modgen directly in the layout canvas.
Explore these features and let us know what you liked most about them!
Do you know that you can perform the same set of tasks using SKILL APIs?
In fact, Modgen constraints are stored as Modgen sandbox objects, which are actually Modgen Pattern Editor User-Type Description Objects. Modgen provides several APIs to edit these Modgen sandbox objects by running scripts—just as how you would do it using the UI options.
To know more about these APIs, see the Modgen Placement and Routing Functions section in the Virtuoso Layout Suite SKILL Reference manual.
The Modgen tool has been continuously evolving to provide better analog layout automation capabilities. There are two new features added to Modgen—Support for Stacked Devices and Support for Reusable Modgen Templates.
In my subsequent blogs, I'll focus on these two new features. Stay tuned!
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