Intento enters EDA market with software that accelerates analog and mixed-signal design, enables IP re-use through technology migration
Innovative design approach eliminates lengthy simulations in analog design
EDA start-up Intento Design today entered the market with ID-Xplore, a software tool that accelerates the development and technology migration of analog and mixed-signal intellectual property. ID-Xplore delivers an industry breakthrough, giving designers the ability to automate the sizing, biasing and migration of analog and mixed-signal IP across technology platforms. By eliminating the lengthy simulations inherent in analog design even when migrating IP to new technologies, ID-Xplore frees design teams to focus on innovation while getting complex SoCs to market faster.
Analog and mixed-signal IP re-use is critical to enabling the Internet of Things
By the year 2020 there will be more than 212 billion wireless sensor-enabled objects, from Smartphones and wearables to automotive, home automation, industrial and Cloud applications. Making these applications a reality means higher integration of analog and mixed-signal circuitry, while achieving the perfect balance of performance, low power consumption, portability and ruggedness.
As companies strive to meet these expectations, many design teams are running up against a productivity bottleneck. Traditionally, analog and mixed-signal design requires engineers to compute initial circuit dimensions from hand analysis using first order transistor models followed by successive simulations. This tedious and time-consuming process can take weeks for a complex circuit. Intento accelerates this process with software that plugs into the existing design flows and standard tools, and automates the circuit sizing, biasing and migration, thereby reducing the number of simulator calls by a factor of 5 to 40. This allows designers to move on to layout, placement and routing in a fraction of the time.
“The emergence of sensor-enabled products across consumer, automotive, medical and industrial markets has brought to light the significant gap in available tools for analog design,” said Ramy Iskander, founder and CEO of Intento Design. “ID-Xplore automates one of the most lengthy steps in the design phase and supports the designer’s intents while moving existing analog IP to new process technologies. Allowing AMS IP to be re-used in this way cuts substantial time off the design cycle, freeing engineers to focus on new product features and changing standards.”
Improving analog design methodology with a new level of automation
ID-Xplore is the result of 25 years of research aimed at developing a new analog design methodology at Laboratoire d’Informatique de Paris 6 (LIP6) at Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC) in Paris, France.
The software plugs into existing tools and flows from industry leaders Cadence and Mentor Graphics, and keeps designer intents at the center of the process. Using ID-Xplore, engineers input the desired parameters for even the most complex analog functions, specifying the parameters that must be met by the circuit; reviewing the options based on desired power consumption, performance and surface area; and selecting the optimal solution. Using this methodology, designers can explore the most effective topology for a given application, even while addressing changes to IP blocks for new application constraints, such as changing specifications for industry standards (WiFi, Bluetooth, etc.).
Critical to silicon foundries, ID-Xplore also allows analog and mixed-signal blocks to be ported from one process technology to another, with all fabs and processes supported. The technology documents the design process and makes the IP reusable as designs are migrated to new process technologies.
ID-Xplore is available now for licensing to qualified customers. Intento Design provides a full range of support services for methodology adoption, design collaboration, tuning and technology migration.