Mentor Graphics Announces Calibre xRC, Full-chip, Transistor-level Parasitic Extraction for SoC Designs

8/27/2002 - Mentor Graphics announced the availability of Calibre xRCTM, a full-chip, transistor-level parasitic extraction tool. Calibre xRC addresses the performance and accuracy requirements of today’s most complex analog mixed-signal (AMS) system-on-chip (SoC) designs.

With Calibre xRC, Mentor extends the core Calibre® technology to address the distinct requirements of AMS SoC parasitic extraction. Calibre xRC combines the proven performance, capacity and hierarchical geometry processing of the Calibre hierarchical engine with the accuracy and layout vs. schematic (LVS) integration of xCalibre®.

Traditionally, parasitic extraction tools are customized to handle the requirements of a specific design flow. This specialization forces SoC designers to either maintain multiple tools or use functionality that is unsuitable for a variety of design styles. Unlike other tools, Calibre xRC was architected to deliver best-in-class extraction technology in a single tool for the full range of design styles found in AMS SoC designs (analog, memory, full custom, etc).

"AMS SoCs have created a whole new paradigm for parasitic extraction that necessitates mixed-level analysis," said Joe Sawicki, general manager, physical verification and analysis division, Mentor Graphics. "Calibre xRC is the only product on the market that can accomplish that. Using Calibre xRC within an SoC design flow ensures Mentor Graphics customers the most accurate and fastest verification and extraction performance available."

Today’s AMS SoC designs can fail if the parasitic effects of passive interconnects are not properly addressed. These effects are not only becoming significant for timing, but also for power, reliability, and noise. Detailed analysis of these effects requires much more than a traditional extracted SPICE netlist or timing file. AMS SoCs require a comprehensive approach to parasitic extraction, including:

Accurate Extraction
While 3-D field solvers are widely recognized as the most accurate method for analyzing the parasitic behavior of small test structures and critical nets, it is not feasible to apply this method to larger structures. Calibre xRC employs a model-based engine to map the 3-D characterized structure to real net segments for optimum performance. Calibre xRC extracts accurate parasitics, including coupling capacitances, by taking all relevant geometries into consideration from substrate through top metal if necessary.

Mixed-Level Extraction and LVS/Extraction Integration
When Calibre xRC is used with Calibre LVSTM, it is the only production-proven AMS SoC verification tool that offers true mixed-level extraction. Smaller-featured AMS SoCs require support for complex intentional device recognition and property extraction, support for accurate transistor-level extraction, and support for gate-level extraction for digital portions of the design. The Calibre tools offer advanced intentional device recognition, intentional device property extraction and parasitic device extraction at both the gate and transistor levels to provide the highest level of accuracy for post-layout simulation. Calibre xRC’s tight integration with Calibre LVS enables back-annotation of simulation results to the source schematic. In addition, Calibre xRC is part of the Calibre family of products, therefore Calibre DRC/LVS users can take full advantage of a single rule file and single tool flow for all verification and extraction tasks.

Advanced Data Management
SoC designers are implementing a number of different circuit element types and have a variety of post-layout analysis requirements. These analysis tools range from transistor-level, gate-level and hierarchical simulators that require parasitic data in various formats and with varying degrees of detail. With other parasitic extraction tools, every analysis step requires a separate extraction to be performed. Calibre xRC removes that bottleneck with a "one-run" incremental extraction technique. All necessary data is extracted once, very quickly, and stored in a binary format. Using the Calibre xRC formatter, designers can select between transistor-level, gate-level, hierarchical or select net results and sends data to different analysis tools (such as static timing or voltage drop analysis) with zero time invested in repeated extraction runs.

Pricing and Availability
Calibre xRC is currently in beta evaluation with first customer ship planned for Q3, 2002. Pricing starts at $140,000. Calibre xRC runs on Solaris, HP and Linux.

Mentor Graphics Integrated AMS SoC Design Tools
Mentor Graphics delivers superior technology for AMS SoC design, from capture and simulation through physical implementation, verification and analysis. The tool set includes Design Architect®-IC, with a powerful AMS SoC design cockpit, and the IC Station® chip assembly solution, for physical layout, top-level floor planning and routing. ADVance MSTM is a single-kernel, language-independent simulation environment for digital, analog, mixed-signal and RF circuits. Finally, Calibre and Calibre xRC deliver the industry’s highest capacity, performance and accuracy for physical verification and parasitic extraction. This fully integrated set of tools is available immediately for Linux, HP and Sun platforms.

About Mentor Graphics (
Mentor Graphics Corporation is a world leader in electronic hardware and software design solutions, providing products, consulting services and award-winning support for the world’s most successful electronics and semiconductor companies. Established in 1981, the company reported revenues over the last 12 months of about $600 million and employs approximately 3,700 people worldwide. Corporate headquarters are located at 8005 S.W. Boeckman Road, Wilsonville, Oregon 97070-7777; Silicon Valley headquarters are located at 1001 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, California 95131-2314.

Mentor Graphics, Calibre, xCalibre, Design Architect, IC Station are registered trademarks and ADVance MS, Calibre LVS, Calibre DRC and Calibre xRC are trademarks of Mentor Graphics Corporation.

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