An Analog IC Router

An Analog IC Router
by Daniel Payne on 03-29-2013 at 8:10 pm

Earlier this week I wrote about a Goliath in EDA, Synopsys, and their new analog router, today it’s the David in EDA, Pulsic and their Unity Analog Router. I spoke with several people from Pulsic by phone:

  • Christopher Jost – San Jose
  • Dave Noble – San Jose
  • Fumiaki Sato – Tokyo, Japan

What prompted my curiosity was a press releaseearlier this week about STARC certifying the Pulsic router in their AMS IP re-use reference flow. Questions and AnswersQ: Who would use the Unity Analog Router?A: It’s a custom router for mostly analog routing, memory designs, FPGAs and standard cell designs. It’s not a big digital router, like Encounter (Cadence), Olympus (Mentor) or IC Compiler (Synopsys).We see mostly IC designers doing hand routing that are most attracted to our Unity Router. Q: When did you start offering this tool?A: We started offering EDA tools in 2007, while the Unity Analog Router was released at the last DAC.Q: About how many users are there for the Unity Analog Router?A: We have hundreds of users?Q: How would the Unity Analog Router compete with something like Custom Router from Synopsys?A: Synopsys has too many routers: a shape-based router from Magma, also CiraNova technology, and another router as well. We offer both CMOS analog and digital routing.Q: What is the learning curve like for this router?A: We spend a few hours with you during the start of an evaluation to get the tool setup and start using it. You get routing results on the first day.Q: What is the database used with this router?A: Most of our customers are using OpenAccess, so we support that flow. We have our own database although native support of OA is coming soon, by the end of the year.Q: How would i use the router?A: You can use it to quickly prototype your analog ideas quickly, or the final route with DRC checking.Q: What do the routes look like?A: Our routing looks beautiful, just like hand routing from an experienced designer.We support current mirror rules like symmetry of devices and routing. Q: How do you handle placement?A: Placement is manual with our tool, and in the future look for some automated placement.Q: Can you name any companies using this router?A: Yes, in Japan the consortium called STARC has endorsed this new router. Fujitsu, Panasonic and Sony are members of STARC.Q: Do you share price ranges for this tool?A: These are in the same price range as SDL products.Q: Will you be at DAC this year and what will you be showing?A: Yes, we’ll be showing our Analog Router, a chip-planning flow, more analog automation features in the suite. Customers should sign up in advance to see us in the suite.Q: Why should I evaluate Pulsic?A: We have great support, are responsive to customer requests in analog, and let our customers drive our product roadmap. We have strong memory customers, are over 10 years old, and have offices in Europe, Japan and USA. The quality of results is quite good.SummaryYou’ve got a handful of EDA tool choices for analog routing, so take a look at what Pulsic has to offer in your next evaluation.

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