GoldenGate1Keysight GoldenGate is the best-in-class RFIC simulation tool inside the Cadence Virtuoso design environment. For many years, RF designers have relied on GoldenGate to solve their challenging problems and have benefited from its robust simulation convergence and fast simulation capabilities to fully characterize their transceiver designs prior to tape-out.

Keysight EDA has just released GoldenGate 2017, which introduces the following new features:

  1. Safe Operating Area (SOA) – With SOA, GoldenGate 2017 enhances circuit reliability by automatically ensuring all devices operate within their safe operating areas – electrical or geometrical rules set by the PDK and/or the user. GoldenGate 2017 produces appropriate warnings, and highlights the failing devices in the schematic, simplifying the debugging process. This feature replaces tedious and unreliable manual checks.
  2. TSMC Model Interface (TMI) – The use of the new and fast TSMC silicon processes – 16 nm FinFET or later – which all require TMI support, makes it possible to design mm-wave circuits with silicon. Doing so enables the mass production of transceivers employed by systems adhering to the upcoming communications standards. Now that GoldenGate supports TMI, users can take full advantage of many of GoldenGate’s strengths, such as robust simulation convergence and fast simulation speed, while designing the latest and greatest circuits. It is worth mentioning that GoldenGate’s implementation of TMI also supports the circuit aging feature of TMI.
  3. Simulation Speed Improvement – GoldenGate 2017 significantly improves its envelope transient simulation time and further establishes itself in the efficient simulation realm by introducing 4x parallel threading. Relatively long envelope transient simulation runs benefit the most, and that is where speed matters the most. The following table showcases a few sample envelope transient test runs.

Test Case

Wall Time prior to GoldenGate 2017

GoldenGate 2017 Wall Time

Wall Time Improvement

White Noise, ET




Power Amplifier ACPR, ET 3




Unit NPort Recurs Var Step, ET




Level 3 ET




  1. New and Updated Model Support – GoldenGate 2017 adds support for the following models: BSIM-IMG 102.6.1, 102.7, and 102.8, BSIM-CMG 106.1, 107, 108, and 110, BSIM-CMG Level = 72, BSIMSOI 4.4 and 4.5, CMC Diode, MOSVAR 1.3, Leti-UTSOI 2.20, HiSIM HV 2.10 and 2.3.1, HiSIM 2.9.0, HICUM L0 1.32, and HICUM L2 2.34

GoldenGate is part of Keysight's RFIC solution that also includes Momentum for 3D planar electromagnetic simulation and Advanced Design System (ADS) for linking the RF system, subsystem, and component-level design and analysis as part of a unique and comprehensive RFIC design flow. GoldenGate 2017 is fully compatible with the following Cadence versions:

  • IC 5.1.0 and all subversions
  • IC 6.1.5, 6.1.6, 6.1.7, and all subversions
  • ICADV 12.1 and 12.2

GoldenGate2Keysight GoldenGate offers powerful RFIC simulation solutions. For those not familiar with the GoldenGate platform, here’s an overview:

  • Best-in-Class RF Circuit Simulation
    • Provides the most advanced steady-state (including harmonic balance, time balance, time shooting, and hybrid) and envelope (hybrid time-/frequency-domain nonlinear) solvers for design and verification of RFICs within the Cadence Virtuoso environment
    • Supports all large and small signal RF and transient analyses including large-signal stability and full X-parameter modeling and simulation
  • Advanced Analysis Support
    • Offers a wide variety of capabilities, such as Monte Carlo, Corners, and Fast Mismatch & Yield Contributor, to fully explore, analyze, and optimize designs before tape-out, minimizing the time and expense of re-spins
    • Includes a unique transistor-level PLL jitter and noise analysis option
  • Automation and Usability
    • Accelerates design and verification by providing many built-in and easily accessible multi-dimensional sweep, optimization, Monte Carlo, and load-pull tools along with simulation management capabilities
    • Automates EVM, ACPR, gain compression, IP3, and load-pull analyses
  • RF to mm-Wave Design Support
    • Provides access to ADS Data Display with dedicated RF templates and adsLib with over 150 RF distributed-element library components
    • Handles large S-parameter blocks with Multi-Threaded Convolution
  • Wireless Standard-Compliant Design
    • Enables scalable system-level solutions from RF architecture exploration through end-to-end verification with links to Keysight SystemVue and Ptolemy
    • Verifies full radio functionality using Keysight's comprehensive library of standard-based wireless verification intellectual property (IP) to accelerate the validation of complex RFICs; wireless libraries for 5G, Bluetooth, LTE, WCDMA, WiMAX, DTV, etc.

Do you work on RFIC design and have not tried GoldenGate yet? Download your free trial and discover how this world-class circuit simulation tool can help optimize your design process and resolve your circuit simulation challenges.