Ago is an EDA company focused on Analog and RF optimization. I’d like to go briefly into the company background, to go over the challenges that we see in analog and RF design, then introduce AnXplorer and its optimization approach.
The company was founde in 2007. Founders were previously in senior CAD development positions at National Semiconductor. In that time, they had a strong track record for innovation with 8 patent awards and 15 research papers and of course experience in developing industrial quality software. Headquarters was established in Silicon Valley with the AgO brand in 2009. The AnXplorer product was announced and the worldwide sales channel was established during the first quarter of 2010.
Total cost of ownership is addressed in this slide
Before looking AnXplorer at let’s take a step back and look at classic Analog design methodology. A design project typically starts with the design specification and constraints. The analog designer would typically use a schematic based tool to define the topology of the circuit. Then, an iterative approach is taken using a transistor level simulator to evaluate performance of that topology with particular device sizes and then devices are resized in order to try to fulfill the requirements and constraints of the design and the process is repeated. Then the sized schematic is used to layout and further adjustments and iterations can take place after the layout and extraction phases.
AgO has assumed that the definition of the topology is something that requires real expertise from the analog designer. However, AnXplorer aims to automate the more tedious tasks of device resizing and running and evaluating Spice simulations. Once the optimization is complete then the design activity can progress to physical layout and extraction.
The inputs to AnXplorer follow well known industry standards making them quite compatible with existing design flows. To begin with the design team will start with an Un-sized circuit schematic. They will define design variables which would be used in the optimization and the objectives of the design. As a result of the optimization by AnXplorer, there will be a sized and centered net list, and additionally an Exploration Database for tradeoff analysis is available. This allows designers to investigate intermediate points during the optimization. So the output is an optimized and centered net list which should meet or exceed the objectives that are specified in the design objectives.
AnXplorer has been conceived to work with existing environments. Today, Cadence Spectre, Synopsys HSpice, Legend Design MSim are fully supported. The operating systems that are supported are Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 32b and 64b and Ubuntu 10
So in conclusion, we see Analog and RF design is rapidly growing in importance. We see that managing the risk of a respin is a major challenge for design teams. With AnXplorer, we automate the resizing and simulation activities which are normally a tedious, iterative task for the designer. The AnXplorer high-performance optimizer should produce designs that meet objectives and constraints thus improving the productivity of the design team, improving yield, and reducing the probability of respins.