EDP: Expert Design Plan

Goal

Methodology for circuit design of analog integrated circuits using procedures

Motivation

The success of automation in digital design is based on the restriction of design freedom (e.g. standard cells), which enables the utilization of optimization algorithms, whereas in analog circuit design all constraints and degrees of freedom need to be taken into account.

In practice this leads to a low acceptance of optimizing algorithms in analog design. Accordingly, the design is based almost exclusively on expert knowledge and is characterized by a manual design process.

Our Approach

Therefore, we propose to transfer the manual process into a procedural approach. We call this principle Expert Design Plan (EDP).

An EDP is a parameterizable, executable script, which reproduces a designer’s course of action when designing a circuit. Thus, an EDP formalizes the design expert’s knowledge-based strategy and makes it reusable. An EDP can cover the design of a whole circuit topology.

In order to capture the designer's course of action  the domain specific language EDPL (EDP-Language) is needed. The EDPL contains all native command needed for analog design, e.g. for topology variation, executing simulations and altering parameters. The  EDP must be created automatically in the background in a familiar design environment to match with the way of thinking and working of analog designers.

Status

The feasibility of the EDP methodology was demonstrated in [1], using the sizing process of a common-source amplifier as protoype. First EDPL commands have been implemented with SKILL++ in Cadence Virtuoso.

Currently we are working on the generic EDPL, which supports any analog design related task.

References


[1] F. Leber, J. Scheible:
A Procedural Approach to Automate the Manual Design Process in Analog Integrated Circuit Design; GMM-Fachbericht 91, 16. GMM/ITG-Fachtagung ANALOG 2018, München, Germany, 12.-14.09.2018, pp. 175-180, (also to be published in IEEE Xplore),  PDF .