Mixed Signal IC Verification Capability Expansion

| Information and Communication Technology

Mixed signal IC tool overcomes the boundary challenges between analogue and digital

Siemens Symphony Pro advanced mixed-signal simulation platform accelerates mixed-signal verification and helps boost productivity

To address the design verification challenges of the most complex mixed-signal systems-on-chip (SoCs), Siemens Digital Industries Software now includes the Symphony Pro platform, which supports new and advanced Accellera standardised verification methodologies with a powerful, comprehensive and intuitive visual debug cockpit, resulting in productivity improvements of up to 10X compared to legacy systems.

Next-generation automotive, imaging, IoT, 5G, computing and storage applications are driving strong demand for greater analogue and mixed-signal content in next-generation SoCs. Mixed-signal circuits are increasingly ubiquitous, whether it is integrating the analogue signal chain with the digital-front end (DFE) in 5G massive-MIMO radios, digital RF-sampling data converters in radar systems, image sensors combining analogue pixel read-out circuits with digital image signal processing or feeding datacentre computing resources with ever more data using advanced mixed-signal circuits to deliver PAM4 signaling. For these and other highly advanced applications, mixed-signal circuits enable lower power, area and cost while delivering ever-improving performance figures.

According to Stephane Vivien, senior CAD manager, Imaging Division at STMicroelectronics, mixed-signal functional verification is increasingly vital for sophisticated designs targeted for the imaging and automotive industries.

“We’ve participated in the early access programme for Symphony Pro and have seen significant productivity gains thanks to advanced debugging capabilities and seamless support for multi-layer sandwich configurations in Symphony Pro,” he says.

Increased application of digital control, digital calibration and digital signal processing techniques in modern mixed-signal chip architectures is driving change in mixed-signal verification methods toward more digital-centric approaches. Siemens’s new Symphony Pro platform extends the rapid deployment of industry-standard Universal Verification Methodology (UVM) and Unified Power Format (UPF) driven low-power techniques into the mixed signal domain by offering fast simulation performance in a unified environment for exceptional throughput and capacity.

Modern mixed-signal SoCs integrate analogue circuits with logic gates operating at very high clock speeds. This high frequency bi-directional signal flow at the boundary of analogue and digital pushes the limit of manual debug methodologies impacting the overall time-to-results. Symphony Pro Visualizer MS environment offers a seamless debug experience across the entire mixed-signal design hierarchy with comprehensive analysis, automation, and ease-of-use for increased productivity.

Jonathan Newell
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