Mentor and X-FAB Unveil Design Kits for Mixed-Signal IC Design Flow

4/29/2004 - Mentor Graphics Corporation (Nasdaq: MENT) and X-FAB Semiconductor Foundries AG announced the availability of the first three in a series of technology design kits (TDKs) supporting X-FAB's CMOS process technologies. The three kits, the XC06, XC035 and XC035 LV, have been validated and are available now for use with the Mentor Graphics analog/mixed-signal (AMS) integrated circuit (IC) design flow. These open-source TDKs reduce the time required to set up design environments, cutting weeks off design time, increasing productivity, and ultimately shortening time-to-market.

X-FAB's AMS CMOS technologies XC06, XC035 and XC035LV are set up in a modular way, offering maximum flexibility and cost-effectiveness while enabling designers to select only those process options that match their application needs. XC06 is a two or three metal layer 0.6Ám 5.0V CMOS process with 17 modular options, including medium and high voltage MOS transistors, passive elements and embedded EEPROM and Flash blocks. XC035 and XC035LV are three or four metal layer 0.35Ám 3.3V CMOS processes with optional double poly and high resistivity modules. XC035 also offers 5V capability with a single or double gate option, while XC035LV, which adds a non-volatile EEPROM module and a Schottky diode module, is capable of operating voltages down to 1.0V.

Customer-Proven Technology
Apogee Technology Inc. recently taped out a mixed-signal chip using the XC06 kit. Apogee, a developer of high-power audio amplification chips, designed the IC entirely in-house using the complete Mentor IC design flow.

"We needed a cost-effective 5V analog process that would give us optimum die size. XC06 allowed us to effectively utilize silicon, meet our die size constraints, and control the die price," said Justin Fisher, group leader of analog design at Apogee. "We chose the Mentor IC design flow due to its superior performance on simulation and design rule checking. Having the XC06 TDK helped us realize dramatic time savings by leveraging its well-coded device generators. Together with IC Station's integrated automatic routing tools, these device generators reduced custom block layout time from several days down to a few hours."

The new design kits include X-FAB-supported EldoTM analog simulation models and Calibre® design rule checking (DRC), layout vs. schematic (LVS) and extraction technology files. They also include schematic symbols for the Design Architect®-IC tool, programmable device generators for schematic-driven layout with IC Station, process definition files, and all other configuration files necessary to effectively utilize the Mentor Graphics® complete AMS IC design flow.

"As demand for Mentor's mixed-signal IC flow increases, we have intensified our support for ready-to-use design kits that can accelerate design starts using our flow," said Jue-Hsien Chern, vice president and general manager, deep submicron (DSM) division, Mentor Graphics. "We're pleased to be collaborating with X-FAB on these TDKs. X-FAB's CMOS processes are ideal for our customers designing high-precision, low-power mixed-signal circuits for consumer, automotive and telecommunication products."

These X-FAB kits are unique in that they are designed to fully support the digital portion of the Mentor AMS design flow. They include libraries with I/Os for pad and core limited designs, various digital libraries for high-performance, high-density, low-power, and low-noise applications, as well as a variety of tested and qualified analog intellectual property (IP) blocks. The XC06 TDK contains standard cell and pad cell libraries with symbols for the Design Architect-IC tool, simulation models for the ModelSim® tool and layout representations for place and route with the AutoCellsTM tool; similar libraries for XC035 and XC035LV TDKs will be available by mid-2004.

"The new Mentor design kits for XC06, XC035 and XC035LV offer a complete set of libraries, views and technology files that leverage Mentor's mixed-signal design capabilities," said Jens Kosch, CTO, X-FAB Group. "These TDKs can help kick-start a design from HDL all the way to GDSII for the leading-edge processes at X-FAB Semiconductor Foundries AG."

The XC06, XC035 and XC035 LV design kits have been qualified by both X-FAB and Mentor and are available immediately 24/7 through X-FAB's X-TIC online access point.

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 the Design Architect-IC schematic entry product with a powerful AMS SoC design cockpit, the IC Station® custom layout product, and the ICassemble solution for chip assembly and automated routing. The ADVance MSTM tool is a single-kernel, language-independent simulation environment for digital, analog, mixed-signal and RF circuits. The Calibre and Calibre xRCTM tools 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 (Nasdaq: MENT) 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 $675 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. World Wide Web site:

About X-FAB
Headquartered in Erfurt, X-FAB is an independent mixed-signal foundry. Together with X-FAB UK (Plymouth, UK) and X-FAB Texas Inc. (Lubbock, Texas, USA), the company maintains three production facilities with a combined capacity of approximately 28,000 equivalent wafer starts per month and employs more than 1,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit

Eldo, ADVance MS, and AutoCells are trademarks, and Mentor Graphics, ModelSim, Calibre, IC Station and Design Architect are registered trademarks of Mentor Graphics Corporation.

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