Variation-aware Design Solution

Variation Manager™ (VM) is a comprehensive suite of analysis tools that allow designers to accurately address statistical variations and to make the right implementation decision upfront. VM is a new generation tool that provides efficient and reliable solutions for analog, RF, standard cells, IO and memory designs.

Introduction

When designing using the latest semiconductor process technologies, process variations across a silicon wafer or device must be carefully accounted for to achieve targeted specifications and production yields. This may require thousands, millions or even billions of Monte Carlo simulations, because some devices, such as bit-cells within a memory, may need analysis to go to 7 sigma and beyond.

Traditional Monte Carlo simulation is too slow for these purposes, particularly amidst tight design schedules. Variation Manager is a breakthrough technology delivering up to 30X simulation performance compared to traditional Monte Carlo simulation, while guaranteeing the same level of accuracy. Its high sigma analysis capabilities provide very fast and highly accurate yield estimation and the ability to quickly identify sample fails and design weakness.

Variation Manager is easily integrated into a design flow. It supports common 3rd party and proprietary transistor-level simulators and has an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. It provides true statistical corners extraction and local variability analysis that can handle a huge number of parameters

Features

     Fast Monte Carlo analysis:

  • The innovative approach of Variation Manager to Monte-Carlo analysis provides equivalent results to classical Monte Carlo Analysis, with up to 30x+ time speed-up

      Highly accurate and efficient high-sigma extractor:

  • Given the required sigma (yield), this analysis will find the design performance limits that correspond to this yield. The analysis is very economical in simulations and robust to multi-failure zones

     Robust and fast high-sigma yield estimator:

  • Given design performance limit, this analysis will quickly verify and estimate the yield to 4-6+ sigma with a very limited number of simulations.
  • Captures the process configurations that trigger parametric failures, to accurately estimate the yield and to predict extremely rare event

     High-sigma spread (HSS):

  •  “High Sigma Spread” (HSS) generates a complete view of a cell yield in one operation, exploring sigma from very low to high, to ensure a design with best power, performance and area. HSS is robust for non-linearity and non-gaussian distributions, commonly seen in advanced process technology nodes.

      Variability eXplorer analysis:

  • Illuminates design performance-critical zones based on a user controlled simulation budget, and will identify marginalities from 3-sigma to high-sigma
  • Highly cost effective,  providing variability induced marginal corners and the most influential parameter

     True corner extraction:

  • Investigates the PVT parameters that lead to the performance most likely statistical corners to achieve a given yield. Compared to the long verification time of the huge number of PVT corner combinations, this analysis drastically reduces simulation runs to the essential true corners of the design

Figure 1: Process variation analysis capabilities

Benefits

  • Breakthrough analysis techniques gives impressive simulation time speed up, significant time saving and complete control of results accuracy
  • Reliable and proven technology
  • User friendly GUI, clear presentation of results with access to data and waveform into golden viewers, fast and easy to use ‘load and analyze’ model

Applications

  • Analog, RF, Standard cells, IO and memories

Technical Specifications

  • Variation Manager reads and generates netlists that are processed by user’s reference simulators
    • SmartSpice from Silvaco
    • Eldo™, Eldo Premier™ and Eldo™ RF and AFS™ from Mentor Graphics
    • HSPICE™, FineSim, and CustomSim-XA™ from Synopsys
    • Spectre™ and Spectre™ RF from Cadence
    • MSIM™ from Legend
    • SMASH™ from Dolphin Integration