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Virtuosity: 10 Things I Learned in December By Browsing Cadence Online Support

Comments(0)Filed under: Custom IC Design, Virtuoso, workshop, Virtuoso Space-based Router, VSR, Virtuoso Analog Design Environment, Cadence Space-based Router, mixed-signal, mixed signal, ADE, ADE-XL, Analog simulation, ADE-GXL, AMS, IC 6.1.5, Virtuoso IC6.1.5, Analog Design Environment, Virtuoso Layout Suite, Viva, Analog Design Environment, Schematic Editor, IC615, Variability Aware Design

In addition to the R&D engineers who actually develop our software, the folks in many other groups here at Cadence put a lot of time and effort into creating a wide variety of documents, presentation and videos to help our users learn to use the software more effectively.  Today we're kicking off a new monthly series to highlight interesting and useful content recently added to the Cadence Online Support website in the Virtuoso Custom IC and Mixed Signal product areas.

I'd like to give a big shout-out of thanks to my colleagues in Customer Support for helping me put this together!

Rapid Adoption Kits 

Last year, I wrote an article in the Things You Didn't Know About Virtuoso series about a new collateral packaging effort in the Custom IC products called Rapid Adoptions Kits (or RAKs).  Since then the concept has really taken off.  Check out the main page to see all the RAKs currently available.  Here are some of the new ones:

1. Virtuoso Integrated Physical Verification System (iPVS) Workshop

iPVS is a capability provided in Virtuoso to continuously check design rules using sign-off  rules as you design.  The RAK includes a workshop database, manual and a video.

2. IC6.1.5 Virtuoso Schematic Editor XL PIEA, Conformal Low Power: Mixed-Signal Low Power Structural Verification

Low power is huge these days.  All you have to do is look at the battery meter on your phone to know that the one thing you want is for that battery to last longer.  The title of this RAK is quite a mouthful, but it will show you how to use the Power Intent Export Assistant (PIEA) in the Virtuoso Schematic Editor to extract the power intent attributes of your design to create macro-level and design-level CPF which can be used in Conformal Lower Power to do low power verification.  The RAK includes a database and instruction/overview documentation.

3. Schematic Model Generator

Virtuoso Schematic Model Generator (SMG) enables the generation of analog/mixed-signal behavioral models using a schematic-like representation of the behavioral model.  The RAK includes a workshop database, manual and 3 videos.


"Solutions" on Cadence Online Support (where they live under the heading "Troubleshooting") are generally written in response to one or more user questions and can include a series of instructions, a customized Skill script, a small design example, a work-around to a known issue or any combination of those elements. 

4. VSR and RiDE Technology Requirements and Routing with tcl scripts

What are the technology requirements while working with Virtuoso Space Based Router (VSR) and Routing Integrated Development Environmet (RiDE)?  This solution includes a lab database with instructions, including sample routing scripts.

5. Circuit Prospector: Quick Reference to Basics and Most Referred Solutions

This solution includes a concise document which provides detailed descriptions of how Circuit Prospector works, how it interfaces with your PDK, what each finder and structure consists of and how to customize them.  It also includes pointers to loads of existing solutions and videos, as well as a sample database for you to play with.

6. Differences in signal plotting between ADE XL and ViVA

This solution focuses on the scenario in which you have a setup in ADE XL with multiple tests and you want to compare waveforms with the same name between different tests.  There are many ways to do this and this solution describes some of the subtle complications that can arise in certain cases.

Application Notes

7. Troubleshooting Virtuoso AMS Designer Errors

As if mixed signal simulation wasn't complicated enough, the error messages you get are often cryptic at best.  This document lets you look up the different messages that appear and see what scenarios might have produce that message and what to do about them.  A definite must-read.

8. Virtuoso Visualization & Analysis (ViVA) Bindkey & Icon Reference

Ever watch an expert user with a piece of software and see them execute a smooth sequence of operations seemingly by telepathy?  You ask them how they did it and they say, "oh that's just bindkey such-and-such."  The new ViVA waveform viewer has quite a bit of this "magic" built into it and this document is intended to give you that same quick and efficient power by spelling out all the most useful bindkey combinations.


9. SimVision Debug Video Series

As someone who makes a lot of instructional videos, I was very impressed by this extensive series of videos on how to use SimVision to debug digital and mixed-signal simulations.  Definitely a must-watch if you need to use this tool.


10. Variation Aware Design

Finally, I wanted to point out a webinar series that was broadcast last November and December centered on Virtuoso's Variation Aware Design offerings.  There were 3 webinars in the series, which are now available via the webinar archive on http://www.cadence.com.  The first was called "Understanding the 'What If' to Avoid the 'What Now'" and shows how to use Sensitivity Analysis to identify critical device parameters and tune your design to meet specification.  The second was called "Efficient Design Verification and Yield Estimation" and demonstrated advanced analyses in ADE GXL to perform Worst Case Corners analysis and High Yield Estimation.  The 3rd was called "Detecting and Fixing Layout Dependent Effects" and showed how Virtuoso can help you detect and fix LDE problems by rapidly producing layout and verification results that feed the industry's first LDE-aware design flow.

Thanks for reading and visiting http://support.cadence.com.  Leave a comment if there are any items you found particularly useful that you'd like to share with others.

Stacy Whiteman



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