AIL, Ltd. Adopts Magma's SiliconSmart CR for Characterization of Its Low-Power Data Path Libraries
March 9, 2004 -- Magma Design Automation's Silicon Correlation Division today announced that AIL Co., Ltd. of Japan has adopted SiliconSmart CR for characterization and modeling of nanometer data path libraries. The implementation of SiliconSmart CR is part of an ongoing program to improve the accuracy of power models used during the development of AIL's low-power CPU, DSP and custom logic intellectual property (IP) products.
AIL is a technology-oriented company founded in 1995 through collaboration with Kobe University. It has developed its own LSI design methodology and holds several patents for low power arithmetic and datapath library technology, small layout area and high-speed LSI design. During recent months, AIL has delivered a matched filter core for the 3G cellular phone with a 25 percent reduction in power consumption and 33 percent smaller area than a conventional design, a read channel core for the DVD front end with a 40 percent faster operating speed, high-speed and low-power ARM CPU cores and numerous DSP cores.
The development of AIL's advanced power-conscious technologies requires the use of extremely complex arithmetic and data path cells specifically developed to meet the target established for each design or application. Used throughout the design to minimize power consumption, optimize performance or reduce die area, each cell requires models to drive the analysis tools. To be of value those models must return results that are closely correlated to production silicon.
Frustrated with the quality of analysis they were able to achieve using models generated with their existing characterization toolbox, AIL evaluated several commercially available solutions. To ensure the timely generation of high-quality models, AIL needed a characterization and modeling solution that was flexible to configure, scalable for optimum throughput, and that consistently delivered accurate power and timing models.
"Models drive the entire design and analysis process," said Mr. A. Sasaki, section manager of AIL Research and Development. "To make well-informed design trade-offs and consistently deliver successful products into the marketplace we must be able to perform accurate detailed analysis. For characterization and model generation of our low-power arithmetic and data path libraries we rely on SiliconSmart CR."
SiliconSmart CR provides AIL the flexibility to characterize its most complex arithmetic and data path cells with near-linear increases in throughput with each additional CPU and the model quality required. To ensure the accuracy of its timing and power models AIL makes full use of the state-dependent timing and power (switching, hidden and leakage) capabilities of SiliconSmart CR. Accurate models are ensured by SiliconSmart CR's complete analysis of cell switching behavior. This analysis is used to isolate every state-dependent hidden, switching and leakage power arc. This results in more accurate power characterization than simply performing power analysis during timing analysis. Since measuring power requires monitoring currents, more accurate simulator settings must be specified. To optimize overall performance SiliconSmart CR acquires power measurements independent of timing measurements in separate, high-accuracy simulations.
Reprinted from SOCcentral.com, your first stop for ASIC, FPGA, EDA, and IP news and design information.