Pulsic has decided to adopt the freemium approach popularised by internet companies with the launch of a tool that gives designers of analog and mixed-signal circuits a better idea of how they will be implemented on-chip.
Animate Preview generates previews of the likely physical implementations of a circuit based on the schematic so that circuit designers do not have to wait for layout before they can see whether their approach is viable or could benefit from changes that will make the design more compact or less prone to nanometer-technology variability effects.
By providing layout information more quickly to designers working on schematics at an early stage, Pulsic claims design teams will be able to reduce overall project timescales by reducing the number of full layout iterations and avoiding the wait for an initial layout when the physical teams are working across a number of projects.
The tool works as a plug-in to Cadence Design Systems’ Virtuoso and regenerates physical previews as the schematic is updated. The software recognizes common topologies such as current mirrors, placing devices to maximize symmetry, as well as honouring design rules and p-cell parameters.
The core preview tool is free with the main restriction being the ability to save parameters to the Open Access database. The free version is able to save basic layout information into the database and the company is providing online help desk and live-chat support for it. The paid-for Plus version saves more detailed information into the database, including p-cell instances, well shapes, guard rings, and poly heads. But there is no difference in the way the preview function operates, the company said.