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Tackling complexity

With chip complexity growing, designers are looking for more capable custom design tools. Responding to this demand, Synopsys has extended its Galaxy platform with Custom Designer, described as the industry’s first ‘modern era mixed signal implementation solution’.

Graham Etchells, pictured, director of marketing for analogue and mixed signal, said cost and power consumption are two of the main factors driving the integration of digital and analogue technologies. “Chips are ten times more complex than they used to be,” he claimed. As an example, he cited a Panasonic dvd design. “In 2000, this used 17 major chips. By 2008, the product featured one major chip with 250million transistors consuming just 30% as much power.”
Integrating a common use model for such tasks as simulation and analysis, Custom Designer features a familiar user interface. According to Etchells, the package is the first eda solution built on the OpenAccess database.
Included are a schematic editor, a layout editor, the HSPICE simulator and the Hercules/Star-RCXT parasitic extractor. “It has been built from scratch,” Etchells claimed, “and the architects are the same people who developed Virtuoso 15 years ago.”
The package is said to provide data transparency between the digital and custom worlds. Custom Designer links seamlessly with Synopsys’ IC Compiler to allow data exchange during floorplanning, routing and chip editing.

Graham Pitcher

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