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Testing suite performs global check on 'difficult-to-find' design issues

Posted: 12 Jul 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Sandwork  SpiceCheck  AVAD suite 

Sandwork Design Inc. has released the SpiceCheck, the latest product in the company's AVAD suite for analogue and mixed-signal designers. According to the company, SpiceCheck performs netlist debugging from syntax verification to circuit-aware static checking and allows IC and SoC designers to perform a global check on traditionally difficult-to-find design issues.

Today's low-power, high-speed chips commonly involve multi-rail voltage sources, internal charge pumps and multiple transistor process models. These present verification challenges for designers to ensure that low-voltage devices are not present in high-voltage rails; that no leakage devices appear at multi-rail interface blocks; and, at the physical level, that no signal integrity problem remains as a result of high resistance capacitance RC parasitics.

While it is difficult to detect these problems with traditional dynamic Spice simulation, Sandwork said the SpiceCheck alternative allows designers to address these challenges with these features: A programmable Tcl check commands for full customization flexibility; Design traversal at sub-circuit blocks or individual transistor level for device properties inquiry; Topology-matching capability to automatically search for critical circuit blocks in a flat or hierarchical target design; Full chip static bias range estimation with the flexibility to include user-defined internal supply nets; Ideal-to-DSPF net name mapping functions and a solver to calculate parasitic resistance between arbitrary extracted nets; and, Integration to Sandwork ACE waveform functions for dynamic waveform data probing.

SpiceCheck is the only netlist-driven tool for electrical rule checking that is fully programmable. "From our active conversation with designers, it became clear that there are as many different rule-checking requirements as there are different design segments, even though their are common needs, such as constant-on transistor checks," said Jack Yao, CEO of Sandwork. "Our approach has been to provide common utilities for immediate interactive use while provide powerful programmability for custom applications to satisfy the most challenging situations."

Pricing begins at Rs.8,24,940 ($18,000) for a one-year time-based license.

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