Tanner EDA is making waves at their customer’s sites as the mixed-signal design suite from Tanner EDA, Incentia Design Systems, Inc. and Aldec, Inc. helps ASIC Design House lower cost and increase efficiency with no compromise in performance. In today’s ‘always on’, Internet of Things connected world, the demand for high-performance, mixed-signal ASICs continues to grow. Many thousands of mixed-signal devices are produced on mainstream process nodes in foundries worldwide. Designers working on these mainstream devices do not always need, nor can they afford, the EDA tools from the vendors focused on serving the most advanced process nodes. Tanner EDA, through its partnerships with Incentia and Aldec, provides a fully-integrated, complete analog/mixed-signal tool suite to address the mainstream with no compromise in performance.
Dresden-based ASIC design services company, Productivity Engineering (PE) a Tanner EDA customer since 2006, has relied on the full Tanner EDA tool suite; including front end design, layout, and verification. Stefan Schubert, PE’s Vice President of IC Design Services remains impressed with Tanner EDA tools finding them intuitive, easy to use, and fully capable of meeting their design needs.
Early last year, PE adopted three new tools to its design flow, provided by Tanner EDA:
To date, PE has been relying on a number of legacy tools from Mentor Graphics®, primarily for the digital portions of designs. But early last year, PE adopted the DesignCraft digital synthesis tool, as integrated into the Tanner EDA HiPer Silicon A/MS solution. “Our existing tool lacks features for optimizing designs: features that are mainstream in most comparable tools today,” Schubert commented.
DesignCraft is cited to run at a speed of 5 million gates in 2 hours, and PE found the tool to perform at least as well as more expensive equivalents, both in terms of speed and features. “And now we can optimize our designs for power, performance and area,” Schubert added. “The testability features are a real bonus. It is the first time we have had DFT support in a tool. It is something we have always had to do separately before.”
Digital and digital-heavy mixed-signal simulation was another task for which PE had been relying on older software. Now PE has invested in the Riviera-PRO TE digital simulator and functional verification tool. Tanner EDA integrated the tool into its HiPer Silicon AM/S tool suite, which also includes the Verilog®-AMS mixed-signal analysis tool for co-simulation, and T-Spice for analog simulation.
“The difficulty we had before,” Schubert explained, “is that we always had to leave the Tanner EDA design environment to use the old synthesis tool, and then import the data back.” In addition, the Calibre® tool is expensive to maintain. “The introduction of the Riviera-PRO TE simulator is very welcome,” Schubert said, “primarily because it is fully integrated into the Tanner EDA tool flow, making the design task much easier.” In addition, the Tanner-supplied AMS simulation suite was considerably lower cost than offerings from the mainstream rivals.
PE has also invested in Tanner EDA’s new HiPer Verify tool suite. PE has adopted a hybrid tool solution for their verification; maintaining a mix of Calibre and HiPer Verify software licenses. “The critical factor with HiPer Verify is that it runs Calibre rules files,” Schubert confirmed. He pointed out that HiPer Verify exploits hierarchical and repetitive features, with an error navigator to locate violations and a one-time correction facility, in order to improve productivity and ensure optimal performance. “The mixed tool portfolio has allowed us to better align tool capability with the requirements of the design while lowering our overall cost,” said Schubert.
Tanner EDA tools not only represent a lower initial outlay than many tools of comparable performance, but they cost considerably less to maintain. “This gives us a competitive advantage as a design services company,” Schubert commented, “And we make no sacrifices in terms of design performance.”
To learn more, read the entire Productivity Engineering case study from Tanner EDA.