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CPF Low Power Simulation with Analog and Mixed-Signal Design (CPF-AMS)

Comments(1)Filed under: analog, mixed-signal, mixed signal, CPF, low power, Spectre, Verilog-AMS, SPICE, wreal, Connect Module

We have been talking about low power simulation and the Common Power Format (CPF) for five or six years now. It’s become popular in most digital designs thanks to a mature methodology and design flow. However, more and more SoC designs are coming up with mixed-signal content. How will low power technologies and formats be used in mixed-signal design?

For SoC design verification, we always involve an analog solver in our simulation, no matter whether you are using Verilog-AMS to model your design block, or changing a block configuration from the Verilog/VHDL level to its SPICE/Spectre counterpart. When an analog solver is used, it can leverage the low power intent expressed by CPF. Although CPF was defined for higher-level designs, it works with analog solvers just as with digital content.


Fig. 1 CPF-AMS


In Fig.1 I drafted a simple diagram to show a scenario in which you switch a module from the Verilog version to Verilog-AMS or SPICE (here it’s ana_B). When you do this, there are three concerns:


1. Whether the power intent described in CPF file is also available for the Verilog-AMS or SPICE module. “Power domain” is a similar concept in both digital or analog content. Whatever Verilog module or SPICE subcircuit that is used to describe a circuit block should be handled in the same way for all low power related properties with respect to CPF information.

2. Whether the analog module can behave correctly according to the power state that is changing from CPF. In digital logic, when we turn off a power domain, the signal in the power domain will be forced to an ‘X’ state. This means the function described in CPF is able to affect the internal signal that belongs to the power domain. In analog circuitry, we should do the same thing to the analog signal in a power domain, turning it off or changing its value according to the power state in the CPF file.

3. Whether the low power digital and analog modules are able to talk each other. Usually, in mixed-signal simulation, a Connect Module is placed on the analog to digital and digital to analog boundary. When CPF is specified in the design, the Connect Module should have the capability to not only convert signal values from the logic side to analog side, but also convert the correct CPF information from one signal to the other.

In addition, where real number modeling (wreal) is used to represent voltage or current instead of electrical signals, similar issues also will need to be considered in wreal modules.

Qingyu Lin



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