Dan Clein's status of Virtuoso, Custom Compiler, and Pulsic tools

I really liked Marmaduke's AMS circuit designer's DAC Trip Report. I've not seen anything with this level of AMS detail on the web anywhere. Please tell him that "Dan Clein says 'Good Job!'" from me, OK? Since that DAC was 10 months ago, I thought I'd share my State of the Union on what's going on with full custom layout EDA tools now.

Right now, Mentor does not have anything below 28nm (FinFET country) for full custom layout. Wally purchased Pyxis a few years ago, with the intention to be OA ready, but the results are not very encouraging...

Mentor Pyxis (router)

  • Helped develop an OA platform inside Mentor
  • Has iPDK's for TSMC, Tower, GF... but only down to 28 nm
  • The Pyxis router is good - as it is the original engine

IC Station (placer)

  • older technology. Not originally an OA tool.
  • it's a device placer with only limited capabilities; not really powerful like the schematic option.
  • IC Station is not 100% OA compatible, but still has the Correct By Construction mode available
  • the Pycell device generator is working now, but as a cell/MAP ROD AMPLE code

Tanner Tools

  • low cost option that shines in MEMS applications

Mentor is still trying to figure out how to use Tanner tools better, but them integrating it into their old IC Station is not very likely. The only shiny star for Mentor is their Calibre family tools. From physical verification to parasitic extraction, Calibre is still the leader all the way down to 5nm...

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