VoltusTM IC Power Integrity Solution is a power integrity and analysis signoff solution that is integrated with the full suite of design implementation and signoff tools of Cadence to deliver the industry’s fastest design closure flow. The aim of this blog series is to broadcast the voices of different experts on how design engineers can effectively use the diverse Voltus technologies to achieve high-performance, accuracy, and capacity for next-gen chip designs.
When digital photography emerged, many of us were reluctant to give up our traditional film roll cameras, certain that the new technology would never match up to the quality and permanence of the postcard size photographs we had grown up with. In just a few years however, we saw the revolutionary advantages of digital photography, and welcomed the now ubiquitous digital camera into every aspect of our life. We at Cadence see the innovative transition from Legacy tools to next-gen Stylus UI in a similar light. Quite like the digital revolution that brought out the photographer in every smartphone user, Cadence design engineers in the digital IC space have made impressive strides to achieve a seamless RTL-to-signoff design flow, bringing all the Cadence digital synthesis and implementation tools together with ease.
Stylus UI is a welcome relief for designers working with complex designs on multiple Cadence tools (GenusTM, InnovusTM, VoltusTM, and TempusTM) with shared functionality. So how can we encourage our Voltus users to take the leap? Here are some migration tips, with examples for running Voltus flows using Stylus UI, presented to jump start your next layout with improved design performance and productivity.
TIP No.1: Convert Scripts from Legacy to Stylus
Naturally, the first thing that you’ll worry about is how to run the flows using the existing scripts. The following commands are meant just for that:
These commands allow an easy translation of Voltus legacy scripts into Stylus UI scripts. The former command is recommended for simple legacy scripts, and the latter for complex scripts. eval_legacy can be used as a workaround in cases where legacy equivalent is not available for certain commands in the Stylus UI mode.
TIP No.2: Convert a Single Command from Legacy to Stylus
Another useful command is get_common_ui_map <legacy_command_name> to find the Stylus equivalent commands, parameters, and attributes for the specified legacy command.
In this example, the left column shows the legacy command (analyze_esd_network) and the right shows the equivalent Stylus UI command (report_esd_network).
TIP No.3: Set Attributes Before Running a Mode Command
Designers can use the set_db command to set attributes for the legacy mode commands like set_power_analysis_mode and set_signal_em_analysis_mode, which is then followed by running the analysis command.
Syntax: set_db <attribute_name> <attribute_value>
Exampleset_db power_method dynamic_vectorless power_write_db truereport_power -out_file power.rpt
Here, the set_db command is used to set the power category attributes, power_method and power_write_db, followed by the report_power power analysis command. These power category attributes are equivalent to the -method and -create_binary_db parameters of the set_power_analysis_mode command.
TIP No.4: Find Attributes of a Command Category
If you want to find a specific attribute or the list of attributes of a command category like power or timing, the Global form is the go-to place for you. This form can be accessed from the GUI via the Tools -> Global option. You can use this form to set and view the values of the attributes.
Alternatively, if you would rather go with the command-line interface, Stylus UI offers the following command to list all the attributes of a category:
Syntax: help category_name*Example: help power*
TIP No.5: Get Attributes of a Category
After the design attributes have been set, you can use the get_db command to get the current value of all the attributes of a category. For example, use get_db power* to display the values of all the power attributes. If you want to view the current values of all the categories, use the report_obj -categories * -all command.
TIP No.6: Get Metrics of an Attribute
In Stylus UI, you can easily capture a variety of power, electromigration, and IR drop metrics using the get_metric command to track power, performance, and area. This command is run after the analysis commands (report_power and report_rail).You can either query a single metric, for example, power.internal, or use * to query all the power/rail metrics (for example, power.* and rail.*).
These commands are just the tip of the iceberg when you explore the vast horizon of possibilities of Stylus UI. And in case you want to know more about the Voltus Stylus flows and commands, you can access the direct links to the documentation from the Help menu.
Think of the convenience, speed, and dynamism of our innovative technology and jump on the bandwagon to discover the full potential of chip designing with Voltus using Stylus UI.
Voltus Stylus Common UI Text Reference Manual
Voltus Stylus Common UI User Guide
Introduction to Stylus and Design Initialization in Voltus
For more information on Cadence digital design and signoff products and services, visit www.cadence.com/go/voltushs.
“Voltus Voice” showcases our product capabilities and features, and how they empower engineers to meet time-to-market goals for the complex, advanced-node SoCs that are designed for next-gen smart devices. In this monthly blog series, we also share important news, developments, and updates from the Voltus space.
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