Agilent, NVIDIA Accelerate Signal Integrity Simulations with CUDA GPU

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) announced its work with NVIDIA to accelerate signal integrity simulations using NVIDIA’s Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA)-based Graphics Processing Units (GPU). The association is expected to yield the commercial release of a GPU-enabled Advanced Design System (ADS) Transient Convolution Simulator that will allow signal integrity designers to run these simulations dramatically faster than was previously possible.

“We’re very pleased to be working with NVIDIA to both speed up their design cycles today and to help our customers solve their signal integrity problems much faster in the future,” said Colin Warwick, product marketing manager with Agilent’s EEsof EDA division. “In this case, NVIDIA itself is the lead customer for this new blending of technologies.”

At high data rates, signal integrity engineers must take into account physical phenomena like impedance mismatch, reflections, electromagnetic coupling, crosstalk, and microwave frequency attenuation due to the skin effect and dielectric loss tangent. NVIDIA’s CUDA-based computation acceleration hardware is expected to accelerate Agilent’s ADS Transient-Convolution Simulator, allowing designers to perform fast “what-if” design-space exploration using circuit-level models that can be verified against measured data and EM simulation of the artwork.

Common applications for Agilent’s ADS Transient-Convolution Simulator that will benefit from the CUDA-based GPU acceleration include design and verification of chip-to-chip multigigabit/s serial links. These are found in almost all consumer and enterprise digital products produced today, from laptop computers to data center servers, telecommunication switching centers and Internet routers. The accelerated simulation will help manufacturers of these products improve their time-to-market by arriving at an optimum design through rapid and complete exploration of the design space and avoiding costly and time-consuming prototype iterations.

“By employing the CUDA development environment to harness the parallel architecture of the GPU, Agilent has significantly enhanced and accelerated its tools, which solve critical simulation problems for NVIDIA,” said Tommy Lee, vice president of System Design and Manufacturing, NVIDIA. “Using Agilent’s new CUDA-enabled tools, our engineering team was able to simulate our data path in parallel. We achieved a 14x improvement in simulation time, sped up our NPI process and further increased our design velocity.”

About Advanced Design System
Advanced Design System is an industry-leading high-frequency, high-speed electronic design automation software platform. Recent releases of the software include new signal integrity capabilities, such as the addition of serializer/deserializer (SERDES)/Verilog analog mixed-signal co-simulation for a more complete signal integrity design flow for serial links. Additional information is available at www.agilent.com/find/eesof-ads.

Availability
The Agilent ADS Transient-Convolution Simulator running on NVIDIA’s CUDA-based Graphics Processing Units is expected to be available in the first calendar quarter of 2009. Beta evaluation of the simulator is expected to be available in October 2008.

About Agilent EEsof EDA Software
Agilent EEsof EDA is an industry-leading provider of RF-mixed signal circuit and system-design software. Agilent EEsof EDA software is compatible with and is used to design the company’s test and measurement equipment. Additional information is available at www.agilent.com/find/eesof.

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) is the world’s premier measurement company and a technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company’s 20,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $5.4 billion in fiscal year 2007.