At DAC 2023, EDA Tools Roll Aimed at Next-gen IC Design and Verification

July 17, 2023 by Darshil Patel

A slew of new electronic design automation (EDA) tools and resources for IC design and verification were debuted at last week’s DAC 2023 event. Here’s a sampling.

Electronic design automation (EDA) tools are evolving to provide integrated solutions that streamline the simulation workflow, automate repetitive tasks, and facilitate efficient collaboration among team members.

Moreover, as electronic devices and systems continue to shrink, the impact of electromagnetic effects becomes more significant. Electromagnetic (EM) simulation tools are improved to capture these effects with high fidelity. Additionally, there is a growing focus on design-for-manufacturability (DFM) and design-for-test (DFT) considerations within EDA and simulation software.


This year DAC celebrated its 60th year, running last week July 9 - 13 in San Francisco.


The premiere event showcasing these kinds of tools is the long-running Design Automation Conference (DAC) event, now in its 60th year. The event ran last week July 9 - 13 in San Francisco.

To kick off our DAC coverage early last week, All About Circuits covered Siemens EDA’s announcement of its IC design suite to reduce design time by identifying and addressing potential problems early in the design cycle.

In this article, we round out coverage with some of last week’s announcements around innovative EDA and simulation ecosystems at DAC 2023.


Solution for Integrated EDA Workflows

For its part, last week Keysight Keysight announced its EDA tool offering, PathWave Design 2024. It is aimed at providing designers with design data and intellectual property (IP) management, team collaboration, and development lifecycle transformation capabilities. 

The tool suite includes Keysight's new Python API that creates open ecosystem simulators, platforms, data exchange, and report generation to meet specific development project needs. With this, engineers can streamline processes and reduce repetitive work.


Keysight’s IP management software. Image used courtesy of Keysight. (Click image to enlarge)


The design suite also includes Keysight data management and IP management products. The data manager provides benefits such as optimal file archiving, advanced revision control, disk storage optimization, tight EDA vendor integration, and seamless software configuration connectivity. The IP manager maximizes productivity with easy access and efficient reuse across design projects.

The design suite also supports using the Keysight design cloud for parallel simulation. The company claims that such a streamlined process can decrease the simulation time by up to 80% for circuit and EM simulations.


EDA Tools for Chiplets, EM Simulation, and More

For its DAC 2023 announcement, Xpeedic released its latest EDA 2023 at DAC2023. It includes Metis 2023 signal integrity and power integrity simulation platform, Hermes 2023 EM simulation platform, Notus 2023 multi-domain platform and ChannelExpert 2023 high-speed system simulation platform.

Metis 2023 is optimized for 2.5D and 3D IC packages, allowing easy design analysis with templates for transmission lines and interposers.


Metis 2023 has a large capacity EM solver that enables multi-die 2.5D and 3D IC SI/PI analysis. Image used courtesy of Xpeedic. (Click image to enlarge)


Hermes 2023 is an EM simulator for chip, package, board, and connector structures. It incorporates a new quasi-static RLGC solver-based Hermes X3D complementing the full-wave finite-element-method (FEM) solver-based Hermes Layered and Hermes 3D. 

Notus 2023 includes signal integrity, power-integrity co-analysis, topology extraction, and thermal analysis for chip, packaging, and board designs, allowing high-speed analysis of signal, power, and temperature.

ChannelExpert 2023 allows for full-link time-domain and frequency-domain analysis in high-speed systems. With its support for IBIS and AMI model simulation, AMI model creation, GUI-based schematic-like editing, and operations, this tool can assist design engineers in efficiently building high-speed channels, conducting channel simulations, and verifying channel performance compliance with specifications.


IC Design Tools with AI and Cloud Support

Aside from its IC design suite mentioned earlier, DAC news from Siemens included a couple other announcements focused on IC verification and AWS, respectively.

First up, Siemens launched its new IC verification solution, Solido Design Environment, which combines artificial intelligence (AI) with the scalability of the cloud to help designers increase performance while reducing time to market.

The new design environment has a unified control panel that manages nominal and variation-aware analysis, including setting up SPICE-level circuit simulations, making measurements and regressions, and analyzing waveforms and statistical results.


Features and components of Siemens’ Solido Design Environment. Image used courtesy of Siemens Digital Industries Software


AI can help designers optimize designs to improve power, performance, and area while speeding up statistical yield analysis. It also features a new Additive Learning technology for better and faster decisions and analysis using retained AI models. With this, the tool achieves verification accuracy of up to 6 sigma and produces higher yields at very high speeds than brute-force Monte Carlo. It also helps to improve coverage and accuracy to a significant extent.

Last week at DAC, Siemens also announced a collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to meet the demands of massive computing capacity and enable cross-organization collaboration. Siemens is working on developing Cloud Flight Plans, Best-Known Methods (BKMs), and technologies to operate their EDA tools in their customers' AWS environments. According to the company, this expansion allows customers to manage their AWS environment and accelerate their designs.