AgO Product Overview


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Analog and RF Circuit Optimization

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  • AgO Analog and RF Circuit Optimization 2014 .
  • 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.
  • Correct by construction
  • 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.
  • Weight based system will not optimized circuits
  • Correct by construction methodology
  • Algorithm is based on comprehensive research on Evolutionary algorithm.
  • Commercial products available today failed to converge under multiple local minimum circuits
  • 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.
  • AgO Product Overview

    1. 1. Analog & RF Circuit Optimization 10X Faster & Max Yield Hillol Sarkar
    2. 2. © Copyright AgO Inc 20112 What we will talk about • Company Background • Challenges in Analog and RF design • Overview of AnXplorer • Competitive Differentiation
    3. 3. © Copyright AgO Inc 20113 Company Background • Founded in 2007 • Held senior positions at National • Held senior position in GE and Toshiba • Awarded 8 Patents and 15 papers -National • AgO - Advanced Generation Optimization • Global Sales & Marketing Presence Q4 2011
    4. 4. © Copyright AgO Inc 20114 Challenges in Analog & RF Design Respin avoidance • Analog circuits are responsible for ~ 50% of IC design re-spins • Re-spins can mean missing market windows and unbudgeted costs Achieving design specification • Meeting or beating performance while minimising cost of implementation • Managing greater complexity in operating and power saving modes Maximising yield • Validating greater numbers of process, voltage and temperature corners • Efficiently centering design across all PVT corners using Monte Carlo Design porting • Moving existing circuit designs to similar technologies • Re-centering design to meet constraints of new technology
    5. 5. © Copyright AgO Inc 20115 Classic Analog Design Methodology • Design methodology has changed little over the years • Manual, iterative design with many SPICE runs Define topology & resize devices Physical layout & adjust Extraction Layout verification Design specification & constraints Spice Spice
    6. 6. © Copyright AgO Inc 20116 Optimization Strategy Feasibility Global Optimization Centering Database Description • DC Operation • Increase Margin • Quick check • Best Design Space Description • Single Corner • Meet performance • Monte Carlo • Ready for Center Description • All Corners • Rapid Size • Ready for P&R Description • Conflict • Change Priority • System Analysis AgO Optimization Strategy
    7. 7. © Copyright AgO Inc 20117 AnXplorer Goals • Quickly size W/L a circuit in a given technology • Explore suitability of different design options • Robust design over PVT & Monte Carlo • Support all types of devices • Explore results using database • Optimize production yield
    8. 8. © Copyright AgO Inc 20118 AgO Design Methodology AnXplorer automates device sizing Define topology Physical layout & adjust Extraction Layout verification Design specification & constraints Feasibility Global Centering
    9. 9. © Copyright AgO Inc 20119 Porting of Existing Circuits Vendor X Vendor Y Common challenge • Port existing design in technology X (say 180 nm) to technology Y (in 180 nm) • Ensure that original design goals are met AnXplorer approach • Start with original sized circuit • Define variable ranges for target circuit • “One click” command • Optimises and centers with new PVT corners Same Node Porting
    10. 10. © Copyright AgO Inc 201110 Prioritized Design Objectives • Most tools support a weight-based prioritisation for multiple objectives – Designer is often unsure of relative weights • AnXplorer supports hierarchical design objectives – User defines relative priority of different objectives • AnXplorer achieves important objectives before optimizing others
    11. 11. © Copyright AgO Inc 201111 Implicit Objectives • Imposes implicit objectives on conditions of devices at DC operating point • Customizable objectives • Detects common sub-circuits and imposes constraints on their operating conditions • Ensures a robust DC operating point • Feature only available for MOS devices Examples of sub- circuits: • transistors in saturation • transistors in linear region • current mirrors • level shifters • differential pairs • voltage reference • current mirror banks • etc
    12. 12. © Copyright AgO Inc 201112 Core Optimization Technology Early Optimisation tools • Frequently relied on traditional convex/gradient methods • These are known to have difficulty with multiple local minima AnXplorer • Based on Evolutionary algorithm • Capable of finding global minimum in presence of many local minima • Successfully optimised tough tests e.g. Rastrigin’s function • Optional logarithmic partitioning of design space Supports both simulation-based optimization & equation-based optimization
    13. 13. © Copyright AgO Inc 201113 Multiple Local Minimum
    14. 14. © Copyright AgO Inc 201114 Trade-off Analysis • Finds multiple design points satisfying design objectives • Creates exploration database for post- optimization analysis – Database stores all explored design points – Query language or GUI • Useful for trade-off analysis with conflicting objectives • Useful for “what-if” analysis
    15. 15. © Copyright AgO Inc 201115 Industry Standard Formats AnXplorer Design objectives Un-sized circuit Schematics Sized and centered net list Exploration database for Trade off analysis Definition of Design variables Compatible with existing design flows
    16. 16. © Copyright AgO Inc 201116 Design Environment • Spice Simulators – Cadence Spectre – Synopsys HSpice – Mentor Eldo – Multi-threading support • Operating system – Red Hat Enterprise Linux RHEL 5
    17. 17. © Copyright AgO Inc 201117 Competitive Differentiation • One product, four optimization steps • Robust centering to maximise yield –Monte Carlo • Implicit objectives for stable DC operation (CMOS) • Hierarchical design objectives • User can perform trade-off analysis • Industry standard formats and simulators • Core based on Evolutionary Algorithm
    18. 18. Analog and RF Optimization New generation Analog & RF Circuit Optimization Hillol Sarkar