Never miss a story from Analog/Custom Design. Subscribe for in-depth analysis and articles.
I sometimes marvel at the technology behind drones that are now widely used for photography, surveillance, or delivery services. Imagine the processing power of the chip that controls the drone’s flight, navigates a city’s airspace, and communicates with the handler on the ground—all dependent on the limited electric power supplied by a compact and lightweight Lithium-ion rechargeable battery! Now that’s quite a feat that chip designers can take full credit for conceiving. While today’s chip designers strive to create breakthrough technology that tackles the critical issues of scalability, performance, and speed, they must also deal with the urgency to deliver power-efficient and ‘green’ designs.
To achieve low-power design goals and power integrity sign-off, design teams face multiple challenges or friction points, such as:
Our latest from Cadence, Voltus-XFi Custom Power Integrity Solution, is the ultimate electromigration and IR-drop analysis tool that addresses these specific concerns in a highly customizable and user-friendly package. This blog takes you through the key features of the new Voltus-XFi solution and explores its unique strengths that design engineers would certainly appreciate.
Voltus-XFi Custom Power Integrity Solution provides a central EM-IR cockpit that tightly integrates foundry-certified Quantus extraction, industry-golden Spectre simulation, and the Virtuoso design environment.
The workflow is built with designers in mind, introducing a simple unified setup for the entire EM-IR flow—where every task, such as extraction, simulation, analysis, and debugging, can be managed in one place. Plus, ensuring that all the essential steps are completed before moving on to the next step. This intuitive workflow-based interface of Voltus-XFi Custom Power Integrity Solution gives the design engineering team the ability to quickly set up and customize just about any flow.
For custom IC designs, the issue of accuracy and performance tradeoff challenges are persistent and growing. To tackle this issue, Voltus-XFi Custom Power Integrity Solution anchors its numerical analysis on the Spectre platform to handle larger designs efficiently. It offers easy-to-use presets that enable designers to quickly trade off across performance, capacity, and accuracy without having to tinker inside the engine. They can pick the right preset to use depending on the type of design—high-precision analog applications or power management designs with relaxed accuracy, for example. This patented voltage-based analysis method provides parasitic optimization, a smaller memory footprint, and runs faster than the industry's traditional current-based method.
The Voltus-XFi solution has an in-built EM-IR results browser that allows designers to seamlessly view EM-IR analysis results, zoom into interesting areas, and overlay results in the Virtuoso platform. Some of the tool’s visualization techniques to find and fix violations quickly and efficiently are the following:
With analysis results now at their fingertips, designers can apply these techniques to analyze voluminous data for the early identification of violations in circuits.
A power-grid-view (PGV) macro model is a binary model that describes an IP’s grid characteristics. It contains geometric views, port information, current information, and multi-mode multi-corner (MMMC) features in capturing various operational modes, voltages, and clock frequencies. The Voltus-XFi solution includes the capability to generate a PGV macro model for the transistor block/IP being analyzed and passes this to the Voltus IC power integrity solution for full-chip sign-off. The Voltus-XFi solution generates the most accurate views, and the Voltus IC power integrity solution applies the correct view for full-chip sign-off. Together they provide the most powerful technology for advanced custom designs that have mixed transistor-level and cell-level blocks.If you are looking for a scalable transistor-level EM-IR solution that delivers SPICE-level accuracy for power integrity sign-off, the Voltus-XFi solution is what you need. Its easy-to-use EM-IR flow, automatic deployment of foundry-recommended settings for advanced FinFET and FD-SOI nodes, optimized performance for very large designs, and seamless integration with the Cadence ecosystem provide clear advantages to designers dealing with power integrity issues. The Voltus-XFi solution takes care of the arduous tasks of processing the data obtained in hand-offs during extraction, simulation, and result analysis. Designers are hence free to focus on creating energy-efficient designs just like the contented drone pilot who can zip through the fly path pursuing innovative photography projects, all thanks to the sophisticated chip technology at the heart of an amazing gadget!
Get more details on Voltus-XFi Custom Power Integrity Solution.
For more information on Cadence Custom IC circuit design products and services, visit www.cadence.com.
For any questions or general feedback, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virtuosity has been our most viewed and admired blog series for a long time. The series has brought to the fore some less well-known yet very useful software and documentation improvements and has also shed light on some exciting new offerings in Virtuoso. This series broadcasts the voices of different bloggers and experts, who continue to preserve the legacy of Virtuosity and try to give new dimensions to it by covering topics across the length and breadth of the Virtuoso environment, and a lot more. Subscribe to receive email notifications about our latest Custom IC Design blog posts.