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Posted: Sep 27, 2011

Cadence Enables ST-Ericsson to Achieve Significant Productivity Gain for Its 40-Nanometer Baseband Chip Design

(Nanowerk News) Cadence Design Systems, Inc., a leader in global electronic design innovation, today announced that ST-Ericsson, a world leader in wireless platforms and semiconductors, achieved a 10x productivity gain by using the CadenceŽ mixed-signal solution. By deploying the latest release of the Cadence VirtuosoŽ unified custom/analog flow (6.1) for complex custom, analog and mixed-signal design, and the Cadence EncounterŽ unified digital flow for low-power, mixed-signal implementation, ST-Ericsson successfully taped out a CMOS 40-nanometer integrated mixed-signal IC for the high-volume mobile phone market.
"The result from ST-Ericsson demonstrates that the enhancements and improvements we have implemented deliver a truly unified mixed-signal flow and help our customers master today's complex mixed-signal designs both predictably and efficiently," said Qi Wang, group director, Solutions Marketing at Cadence. "Our mixed-signal solution embodies the tenet of the EDA360 vision and delivers on our end-to-end approach to Silicon Realization."
To accelerate the design and verification task of its analog, RF, memory and mixed-signal SoCs, ST-Ericsson chose Virtuoso Analog Design Environment XL, a multi-testbench environment that automates the verification process to ensure spec compliance. To cut simulation run time, the company deployed the award-winning Virtuoso Accelerated Parallel Simulator for analog block-level simulation as well as the analog solver within the Cadence Virtuoso AMS Designer, for high-performance, mixed-signal, full-chip verification.
"Using the Cadence mixed-signal solution enabled us to accelerate our design time by 10x compared with the design of a previous chip built in 65 nanometers," said Rolf Becker, development manager at STE. "We saw significant advantages resulting from our use, for the first time, of OpenAccess as the single database. Any design change that was done by one designer was immediately visible to the rest of the global design team without doing lengthy stream-out/stream-in operations, and we were amazed how much time was saved."
OpenAccess, the industry standard database, helped boost productivity during the implementation phase by enabling a seamless collaboration and data transfer between the analog and digital design teams. Virtuoso Layout Suite XL, fully connectivity-driven in combination with the Virtuoso Space-Based Router, helped ST-Ericsson to significantly speed up the physical design.ST-Ericsson also used Cadence QRC Extraction, a parasitic extraction technology for analog device-level and mixed-signal interconnect extraction, and the Cadence Encounter Digital Implementation System for RTL-to-GDSII implementation, as part of a new mixed-signal-on-top design methodology, that was pivotal for the successful tapeout.
About Cadence
Cadence enables global electronic design innovation and plays an essential role in the creation of today's integrated circuits and electronics. Customers use Cadence software, hardware, IP, and services to design and verify advanced semiconductors, consumer electronics, networking and telecommunications equipment, and computer systems. The company is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., with sales offices, design centers, and research facilities around the world to serve the global electronics industry. More information about the company, its products, and services is available at www.cadence.com.
Source: Cadence (press release)
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