Cadence Develops Turbo Simulation Technology for RF Verification

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CDNS), the leader in global electronic-design innovation, introduced a new simulation technology to address the challenges of verifying wireless integrated circuits implemented in advanced CMOS process nodes. Cadence has added the “turbo” technology it recently brought to the Virtuoso® Spectre® Circuit Simulator to its RF analysis. The result is performance improvements of two to five times — sometimes greater — for analysis and verification of large RF circuits targeting advanced CMOS process nodes, and with no degradation in accuracy.

“As developers and IP providers of some of the most advanced RFIC designs, we have found that Virtuoso Spectre with turbo technology delivered six times performance improvement for RF analysis of some of our most complex RF analog circuits, without any compromise of accuracy,” said Tom Riley, CTO at Kaben Wireless Silicon. “These sampled-RF circuits have enough moving parts to be a convergence challenge for any simulator. The new turbo technology is easy to learn and use for someone familiar with using the Virtuoso Spectre simulator.”

“We design high-performance communication front-ends for wireless, wired, and fiber optics physical layers in advanced CMOS process nodes,” said Emad Afifi, vice president of Engineering at Ensphere Solutions, Inc. “When we ran Spectre with turbo technology and accurate parasitic reduction on some of our leading-edge analog and RF circuits, simulation time was reduced by more than six times without any accuracy degradation. We expect this new technology to improve the productivity of our engineers and reduce our time to market.”

This technology complements a complete manufacturability-aware solution from Cadence for design, implementation and verification of RF integrated circuits (RFICs). Based on the Virtuoso custom design platform, this solution enables designers to deal with the challenge of integrating RF with analog/mixed-signal baseband, and the emerging need for RFIC-focused electromagnetic analysis. It improves time to market and overall design costs through faster and more accurate verification that reduces design turnaround time and expensive silicon respins.

The complete solution includes the Cadence Virtuoso RF Designer, which brings a full-wave fast planar electromagnetic (EM) field solver to the RF/wireless designer’s desktop. Virtuoso RF Designer offers designers advanced verification capabilities for faster electromagnetic analysis of complex structures and geometries — all within a single design flow, accelerating chip finishing and verification. Virtuoso RF Designer integrates seamlessly into the Virtuoso front-end and leverages Cadence’s patented electromagnetic analysis technology to accelerate and accommodate large designs found in today’s RFICs and System-on-Chip (SoC).

The Cadence RFIC solution provides an interactive link between system design and circuit design by integrating with Simulink from The MathWorks.

“RF system designers use MATLAB and Simulink for system design and refining specifications for each RF block in the context of the system,” said Ken Karnofsky, director of signal processing and communications marketing, The MathWorks. “Because Cadence integrated Virtuoso Multi-Mode Simulation with MATLAB and Simulink, RFIC designers may insert their block schematics and post-layout netlist directly in the system-level block diagram and use co-simulation to verify that the implementation meets system-level specifications.”

In addition, Cadence has developed a toolbox for MATLAB that allows designers to access their simulation results in MATLAB for advanced visualization and post-processing.

“RFIC circuits are critical and challenging components of today’s advanced mixed-signal SoCs,” said Sandeep Mehndiratta, Virtuoso product marketing group director at Cadence. “Cadence continues to enhance its comprehensive RF solution with leading-edge technologies that enable designers to tackle these challenging designs. With the new turbo-powered Spectre RF and the Virtuoso RF Designer, we are providing our customers with technology that can help them meet their first-pass silicon success and time-to-market goals.”

Cadence will demonstrate its latest RF technology at the International Microwave Symposium, June 15-20 in Atlanta.

About Cadence
Cadence enables global electronic-design innovation and plays an essential role in the creation of today’s integrated circuits and electronics. Customers use Cadence® software and hardware, methodologies, and services to design and verify advanced semiconductors, consumer electronics, networking and telecommunications equipment, and computer systems. Cadence reported 2007 revenues of approximately $1.6 billion, and has approximately 5,100 employees. The company is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., with sales offices, design centers, and research facilities around the world to serve the global electronics industry.

Cadence, Spectre and Virtuoso are registered trademarks, and the Cadence logo is a trademark of Cadence Design Systems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.