Analog Simulation Insights

 

things heard at DAC – day 2

Tuesday started very early, with the AMS Verification Breakfast , on the topic of AMS Verification and Moore’s Law, solutions for 45nm and beyond. People were lined up when the doors opened at 7:30AM, and we had a full room. The panelists did a great job, and there were so many questions from the audience that we had to stop to fit in the raffle for the 2 iPod Touch MP3 players.

Some questions & comments from the breakfast:

  • “I have never heard of an analog verification engineer before”. It was obvious that this is a new but critical role, requiring a rare ability to understand both verification methodology and analog design.
  • “Why don’t you just use Verilog-AMS”? There were a variety of opinions on this, with several speakers saying that Verilog-AMS simulation is just too slow for full chip verification. Clearly, a hierarchical methodology is required, to go from the detailed circuit level up through increasing levels of abstraction. This requires a robust methodology to ensure that AMS circuit behavior is modeled accurately.
  • Digital verification engineers won’t touch analog simulators. Maybe not true everywhere – since co-simulation is popular, but it does describe the challenge of “analog meets digital” in verification.
  • “We need to learn from digital”. This commented was repeated throughout the day, especially in regards to some way to do analog assertions.

Later in the day, in regards to Verilog-AMS, I heard this comment: “Most people think that AMS verification means FastSPICE-Verilog co-simulation”. That tells me that the requirement to develop models in a behavioral language still keeps V-AMS as a niche application, and at the same time Fast-SPICE eliminates the need for V-AMS in a lot of applications. From 7:30 AM until 6PM when I left the convention center, I could not get away from the topic of how “Analog meets Digital“. I think we are focused on the most important issue in AMS design today. I had several conversations on the analog assertion topic; with customers, other EDA vendors, and from individuals interested in developing standards and extensions to System-Verilog VMM. I would love to hear from you hear to keep that discussion going.

-Mike



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