Anxplorer Optimises Analogue And RF Circuits

Ago has introduced Anxplorer, a new tool for optimising analogue and RF circuits. Starting with an unsized SPICE netlist, variables for device dimensions and a set of design objectives and constraints, Anxplorer optimises device sizes by rigorously exploring the design space. By centring the design across all specified process, temperature and voltage corners, Anxplorer achieves a robust design, thereby enhancing the yield and improving the probability of first-time silicon success. Anxplorer can fit into commonly used design toolsets as it works with industry-standard SPICE netlists and simulators. A designer can create an unsized circuit, design variables and objectives. Anxplorer then generates an optimised centred circuit that meets or exceeds the design objectives across all corners specified by the user. It uses a new multi-algorithmic optimisation strategy aided by an expert system. A major challenge facing developers of analogue and mixed-signal ICs is the frequent failure of analogue circuits to meet their requirements. Design respins not only inflate the IC's development costs but also adversely impact the final product's market entry. The tool's optimisation approach rigorously explores the design space, searching for robust solutions over all process, temperature and supply voltage corners, thereby improving yield. Users can control the way optimisation takes place by defining a hierarchy of design objectives. Unlike weighted-based handling of multiple objectives, the tool tries to meet high-priority objectives before optimising lower priority ones. Anxplorer's design-exploration database records all points during the optimisation process. This enables designers to undertake 'what-if' analyses or to trade-off conflicting objectives if all objectives cannot realistically be met.


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