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15 April 2015

IBM PDKs support RFIC interoperability between latest Keysight ADS software and Cadence Virtuoso design platform

IBM is offering specialty foundry clients a new set of interoperable process design kits (PDKs) for use with Keysight Technologies' Advanced Design System (ADS) EDA software and Cadence Design System's Virtuoso custom design platform, providing users access to a new silicon RFIC interoperability feature available in ADS 2015.01. 

IBM says that its silicon-based specialty foundry technologies — RF CMOS, RF silicon-on-insulator (SOI), and silicon germanium (SiGe) — are optimized to help chip suppliers deliver differentiated RF front-end solutions in increasingly sophisticated devices. The challenges of high-frequency and large-signal design in these devices have increased the need for an interoperable co-design flow that exploits the best of both design platforms and that can help maximize designer productivity.

The ADS silicon RFIC interoperability feature simplifies this process by enabling users to edit and simulate schematic designs created by the Virtuoso environment in ADS, and vice versa. The same is true for layout where, for example, a user can open a Virtuoso IC layout cell view in ADS, instantiate the cell within a package or module, and then run an electromagnetic simulation on the complete design to validate its overall system performance.

"Currently, we provide separate Virtuoso and ADS PDKs to our foundry customers. With the new silicon RFIC interoperability, we will now have a single PDK that supports both platforms," says Ned Cahoon, Specialty Foundry business development executive at IBM. "The first interoperable PDK is now available for SiGe 5PAe, our 350nm SiGe BiCMOS process geared for power amplifiers, and work to extend this support to our most advanced RF SOI technologies is underway. Both technologies have gained significant industry traction for cellular and WiFi front-end module applications, and the new silicon RFIC interoperability feature can offer clients using these technologies additional design flexibility," he adds. 

"Customers can now access ADS' dedicated RF design flow support based on a standard Virtuoso PDK," says Volker Blaschke, foundry program manager at Keysight EEsof EDA (which supplies electronic design automation software for microwave, RF, high-frequency, high-speed digital, RF system, electronic system level, circuit, 3D electromagnetic, physical design and device-modeling applications). "The new Silicon RFIC Interoperability is crucial for IC design and enables a true RFIC/package/board co-design flow. This interoperable flow increases designer productivity and flexibility, and reduces time-to-tape-out for silicon-based RF designs."

See related items:

Keysight unveils silicon RFIC interoperability in latest Advanced Design System software

Tags: IBM SiGe SOI Agilent EDA software

Visit: www.ibm.com/us/en

Visit: www.keysight.com/find/eesof-ads2015.01

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