Cadence Design Systems has expanded the reach of its parallelized fastSpice engine and Spectre XPS tool to support general-purpose analog and mixed-signal designs.
The company launched Spectre XPS last year, initially focusing on speeding up the verification of memories. With algorithms to automatically differentiate between digital and analog circuitry within a netlist, the new release targets digitally intensive mixed-signal designs. By sorting and partitioning the netlist, the tool can dedicate CPU cycles to the analog section while using a less detailed model for the digital portions, providing an overall speedup for the entire circuit.
The analog and digital separation is in addition to the parallelization work that Cadence performed on the matrix solver, which formed the core of the initial release. This allows the most intensive parts of SPICE-like algorithms to be spread over the cores in a multiprocessor workstation. The transistor models themselves do not need to be changed.
“All the existing PDKs and infrastructure works with XPS. We have also integrated [the engine] into some of our characterization software that will be released later in the year,” said John Pierce, product marketing director of custom and analog design management at Cadence.
To develop the tool, Cadence has worked with customers such as Analog Devices and Maxim Integrated. “Most of the work we’ve done with Maxim has been on their power management ICs,” said Pierce. “They are continuing to help us get down the development path.”