Gemini Design Automation, a start-up company focused on the challenges of verifying complex analog and mixed-signal designs, unveiled the industry’s fastest SPICE-accurate simulation technology specifically developed to leverage the throughput advantages of multi-core computing. The company’s native multi-threaded technology has demonstrated run times and capacity of up to 30x that of earlier generation analog simulators, and up to 10x improvements over first-generation multi-threaded approaches.
The technology has been under development for three years and is being used in several production design environments, as well as benchmarked extensively against state of the art analog simulators, including multi-threaded ones. Combined with low cost multi-core computing platforms and a unique licensing model, Gemini has established a new standard for throughput/cost in a SPICE accurate simulator.
“Multi-threading is clearly the way forward to address the performance requirements in analog and mixed-signal design, and Gemini’s approach has demonstrated impressive speedup and capacity that is required for large-scale designs in advanced processes,” said Dr. Guenter Grau, Managing Director at advICo microelectronics GmbH. “We have taped out a significantly complex design in IHPs advanced BiCMOS technology using the tool and simulated one which was unable to converge with a competing simulator. In addition to its throughput, we are pleased with the compatibility it offers with our environment and legacy verification tools.”
Gemini was founded in 2005 by a team of analog simulation experts with extensive experience in the EDA industry, notably at Cadence Design Systems and Synopsys, Inc. The core team – consisting of Dr. Baolin Yang and Dr. Xiaodong Zhang– have been involved with the development of several successful SPICE simulators and analog design environments. They are backed by EDA industry pioneer, co-founder of Cadence, and EDAC Phil Kauffman Award winner James Solomon, considered to be the foremost authority on analog design technology.
“There are number of trends that Gemini is addressing with its ‘ground up’ fully parallelized approach, not the least of which is the increasing percentage of analog and mixed-signal content on today’s SOCs. Related to that is in an exponential increase in the number of parasitics, particularly as process nodes scale. Designers therefore need a solution that can scale with the size and complexity of designs and reduce the bottleneck that verification has become,” said Solomon, who serves as the company’s Executive Chairman.
“We started three years ago with a multi-threading and parallel computation approach that now delivers significant performance improvements, and can leverage the availability of low cost multi-core computing platforms. Today, multi-threading has been validated by the industry, but ours is unique in that it is the industry’s most comprehensive and thorough implementation with break-through parallel matrix computation technology at its core,” further commented Solomon.
The Gemini simulation technology was holistically designed to leverage the advantages of multi-core platforms, specifically in its architecture and proprietary algorithms, and the comprehensive implementation of multi-threading model evaluation, matrix solving and the parallelizing of other computationally important components of the simulator. It is a fully threaded application. Its performance scales roughly linearly with additional cores and its matrix computation time scales roughly linearly with size and complexity of circuit matrices, making it especially effective for large designs with high parasitic count. In customer benchmarks, it has consistently performed 2x-10x faster than other multi-threaded SPICE accurate simulators.
“We set as an initial goal, in addition to delivering the industry’s best throughput/cost solution, making this one of the industry’s most robust simulation products. Great emphasis was placed on the ability to accept industry standard netlist formats, delivering the broadest range of model support, simple ‘out of-the-box’ user operation, and achieving better convergence than FastMos or other SPICE accurate products,” commented Dr.Yang.
The product is the ideal solution for complex functions such as PLLs, ADCs and DAC’s, charge pumps, programmable Tx/Rx chains, power distribution circuitry, and memory IP, particularly where there are a large number of extracted post-layout parasitics which require exhaustive verification prior to tapeout. It runs on standard X86 SMP multi-core platforms equipped with 64bit Linux operating systems.
Initial production product availability is scheduled for fourth quarter 2008.
About Gemini Design Automation
Gemini Design Automation is focused on the challenges of verifying large complex analog and mixed signal designs. It has developed the industry’s fastest native multi-threaded approach to SPICE-accurate simulation, delivering more throughput and capacity and lower cost of ownership. Founded in 2005 by experienced analog tool developers, the company is backed by EDA pioneer Jim Solomon. It is based in Fremont, California.