EDA Trio Synopsys, Ansys and Keysight offer 79 GHz XCVR ref flow on TSMC 16FFC

Date: 02/05/2023
Three leading design automation software vendors who are experts in three different areas of chip design join hands with the world's number one semiconductor chip foundry TSMC to push the boundaries of RF transceivers built on monolithic silicon.

The 79 GHz mm wave transceiver integrated silicon chip or a 3D HI chiplet based device along with necessary sensors, supporting computing fabric with AI accelerators is an artificial brain of self driving vehicles and other such robotic applications.

By achieving significant automation in design of such chips fulfilling high level of functional safety is a kind of achieving system-level Moore's law benefits in terms of cost, performance and to some extent in size too. Let's get into the details of this collaboration. Three design software vendors are Synopsys, Ansys and Keysight offering design automation tools for extremely advanced chip design taking care of physics, electrical and mechanical aspects of engineering.

These three companies have made available the new 79GHz millimeter wave (mmWave) radio frequency (RF) design reference flow for the TSMC 16nm FinFET Compact Technology (16FFC) enabling implementation of reliable, 79-GHz transceiver integrated circuits. The application suggested in the release includes advanced autonomous systems that require independent operation without human intervention such as automotive radar, 5G connectivity, security applications and environmental monitors.

"The modernization of sensing and perception capabilities using advanced mmWave technology is another step towards realizing autonomous systems," said Sanjay Bali, vice president of Strategy and Product Management for the EDA Group at Synopsys. "Our close collaboration with industry leaders including Ansys, Keysight and TSMC provides mutual customers with an open and optimized reference flow that delivers unmatched quality-of-results for advanced mmWave designs."

"TSMC works closely with our ecosystem partners to address increasing challenges in creating advanced RF and mmWave designs for next-generation autonomous systems," said Dan Kochpatcharin, head of the Design Infrastructure Management Division at TSMC. "The result of our collaboration with Synopsys, Ansys and Keysight will help mutual customers achieve design success with an optimized front-to-back design flow that takes full advantage of the power, performance, area, and productivity benefits of the TSMC 16FFC technology."

The reference flow integrates the following solution into a comprehensive design flow:

The Synopsys Custom Design Family featuring the Synopsys Custom Compiler design environment to address design challenges including silicon aging and reliability, worst-case corner analysis and efficient and reliable layout generation.

Multiphysics signoff analysis using Ansys VeloceRF RF Device Synthesis, Ansys RaptorX Electromagnetic Modeling Family, Ansys Exalto EM-aware Parasitic Extraction Signoff and Ansys Totem Power Integrity and Reliability Signoff tools.
Electromagnetic analysis and circuit simulation using Keysight Pathwave RFPro and RFIC Design (GoldenGate) tools.

"The need for high-speed frequencies to support next-gen autonomous systems such as navigation, object recognition, decision making and control continues to grow," said John Lee, vice president and general manager of the electronics, semiconductor, and optics business unit at Ansys. "The combination of our signoff in chip and system multiphysics together with the Synopsys analog and mixed-signal design and verification solutions and RF design expertise from Keysight results in a robust design reference flow for TSMC's 16FCC process."

"Our close collaboration with Synopsys, Ansys, and TSMC gives mutual customers the solutions they need to push the boundaries of RF and mmWave design into applications for autonomous systems", said Niels Faché, vice president and general manager, PathWave Software Solutions at Keysight. "Keysight leverages its long history in high frequency electromagnetic simulation to bring these capabilities to TSMC workflows with this 79-GHz work. We've taken the next step in seamless integration of RFPro with the Synopsys' Custom Compiler environment to deliver highest levels of electromagnetic simulation accuracy and workflow efficiency. RFPro provides electromagnetic analysis and model generation of passive components and critical nets for autonomous systems targeting TSMC's 16FFC process technology. We've also integrated GoldenGate for pre- and post-layout RF simulations and verified the simulation results against TSMC's reference measured data."

Cadence too is part of TSMC eco of software vendors supporting 79 GHz mmwave reference flow. In a separate release Cadence has announced it has collaborated with TSMC to optimise its Virtuoso platform for the 79 GHz mmWave design reference flow on TSMC's N16 process. Cadence solution supports RF design activities such as passive device modeling, assisted layout automation, block-level optimization and EM signoff simulations. TSMC N16 79 GHz mmWave design reference flow leverages Cadence EMX Planar 3D Solver, which is essential for RF circuits. Cadence said it has tightly integrated Virtuoso with EMX Planar 3D Solver and Cadence Quantus Parasitic Extraction.

Author: Srinivasa Reddy N
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