April 23rd, 2009

Silicon Creations Successfully Tapes Out Complex RF Chip Using Simucad's Complete RF Tool Flow

Silicon Creations, a company that specializes in high performance analog and mixed-signal integrated circuit design, has successfully taped out their fourth high performance chipset using an all-Simucad tool flow.

The IC chip was manufactured, measured, and met or exceeded all design specifications on the first pass.

Simucad Design Automation is a leading provider of Analog, Mixed-Signal and RF Electronic Design Automation (EDA) software.

The Silicon Creations 1.9-3.8GHz LC based fractional-N PLL synthesizer IC was designed, simulated and laid out using ST Micro's 90nm RF process. The Simucad Analog Mixed-Signal design flow included SmartSpiceRF and the Custom IC CAD design suite.

Jeff Galloway, Co-Founder of Silicon Creations, described the IC, "The IC is a multiband LC fractional-N synthesizer. The chip contains a 4 VCO core, low noise PLL, and a third order Delta-Sigma modulator. The IC can be used for RF local oscillator synthesis or clock generation for SONET or Ethernet applications. The spot noise is better than -130dBc/Hz at 1MHz offset and the integrated jitter is roughly 250fs RMS. The output range is 1.9 to 3.8 GHz."

Galloway further described the toolset used, "We used Gateway for schematic entry, SmartSpice for analog simulation, Harmony for mixed-signal simulation, SILOS-X for digital verification and system modeling, Expert for layout editing, Guardian DRC/LVS/NET for physical verification, and HIPEX for hierarchical and parasitic extraction. We used a 16 machine cluster to run SmartSpice for thorough analog verification. We relied on SmartSpiceRF for our RF simulations, and were impressed how closely the simulations matched the measurements from the final silicon."

"It is always great to work with dedicated professionals like the designers at Silicon Creations," said Mr. Will Klein, Senior Application Engineer at Simucad. "We are pleased that our tools can help them save time and money by accurately predicting their product's performance."

About Silicon Creations

Silicon Creations is a self-funded, leading silicon IP developer with offices in the US and Poland, and sales representation worldwide. The company provides world-class silicon intellectual property (IP) for precision and general-purpose timing (PLLs), oscillators, low-power, high-performance SerDes and high-speed differential I/Os for diverse applications including smart phones, wearables, consumer devices, processors, network devices, automotive, IoT, and medical devices. Silicon Creations' IP is proven and/or in high-volume mass production in process technologies up to the most advanced available in the industry.

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