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Date: 24-04-15

50% reduction in the entire analog design flow, claims Pulsic

Ricoh Electronics is working to achieve 50% reduction in the entire analog design flow integrated circuit (IC) by using Pulsic's Animate, an automated layout system built from the ground up for transistor-level analog and custom-digital design.

"Ricoh Electronic Devices offers analog semiconductor products with a focus on high-value-added Power IC. When performing full custom designs, layout design time has become a big issue," said Toshiya Murota, senior specialist, design technology department, Ricoh Electronic Devices. "In our evaluation, using a real design, we achieved a 40% reduction of cell block implementation time with quality layout results. Our designers evaluated the Animate tool and it is the only automation tool to satisfy our stringent requirements. We are convinced that we can easily achieve a reduction of more than 50% in the future, working with Pulsic on further refinements going forward. This efficient, practical system also provided our desired layout with minimal set-up, an important factor for adoption."

Pulsic says its Animate overcomes traditional approaches to automating analog IC design, which have attempted to improve on portions of the design flow, but have not managed to generate "manual-quality" layout without significant user intervention. By using PolyMorphic Layout technology a multiple number of layouts from a schematic using automatic constraint extraction and simultaneous placement and routing is generated. Animate automatically generates constraints based on netlist topology analysis, saving the designer from manual constraint entry and management. Constraints are derived automatically, but can be edited by the user quickly and easily to explore various configured layouts.

"At Ricoh Electronic Devices, there are three phases in layout design flow: 1) top-level floor planning, 2) cell block implementation, and 3) top-level routing. The cell block implementation phase consumes 50-80% of total layout design time and was an obvious place to start looking for greater efficiencies. In this phase, Ricoh Electronic Devices was looking at group placement and matching of analog devices and the pursuit of maximum routing flexibility, and worked closely with Pulsic to achieve this for the cell block implementation using Animate." said in the release by Pulsic.

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