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Agilent Introduces Signal Integrity Circuit Simulator

Agilent Technologies Inc. introduced an EDA signal integrity circuit simulator for multigigabit, high-speed data link design. The Transient-Convolution Simulator -- part of Agilent’s Advanced Design System (ADS) EDA software platform -- achieves a three-fold simulation speed improvement for signal integrity simulations.

The Transient-Convolution Simulator combines the ADS High Frequency SPICE, Convolution Simulator and related modules. Multicore processor support and a new, high-capacity sparse matrix solver allow signal integrity designers to perform fast “what-if” analyses to arrive at the best possible designs.

“With Agilent’s new ADS Transient-Convolution Simulator we can get Stratix II GX transceiver results in a third of the time than we used to,” said David Greenfield, senior director of product marketing, high end products at Altera Corp. “Rapid design analysis lets us ramp up our chip volume and helps our customers get their system to market quickly. Everybody wins.”

The most common applications for the ADS Transient-Convolution Simulator are design and verification of chip-to-chip multigigabit/s serial links. These are found in almost all consumer and enterprise digital products produced today -- from laptop computers to data center servers to telecommunication switching centers to internet routers. At the very high data rates at which these links operate, signal integrity engineers must take into account physical phenomena such as impedance mismatch, reflections, electromagnetic coupling, crosstalk and microwave frequency attenuation due to the skin effect and dielectric loss tangent. The ADS Transient-Convolution Simulator allows signal integrity engineers to address these challenges by performing “what-if” design space exploration. This process uses a circuit-level model that can be verified against measured data and electromagnetic artwork to arrive at an optimum design while avoiding costly and time consuming prototype iterations.

“The speed improvements in the ADS Transient-Convolution Simulator have cut our simulation times in half, allowing us to more accurately analyze increasingly complex systems,” said Roy Greeff, signal integrity engineering manager at Micron Technology Inc., a provider of advanced semiconductor solutions. “With the enhanced simulator, we now can incorporate large silicon-level models, including an entire data bus and clock tree structure, with associated power and ground rails. Along with the silicon models, we can also include fully extracted package models, system-level transmission lines and termination models.”

The ADS Transient-Convolution Simulator is part of the new Agilent Advanced Design System 2008 Update 2. Advanced Design System is a powerful electronic design automation platform, offering complete integration to designers of multigigabit/s serial links, as well as consumer and commercial wireless electronic products such as mobile phones, wireless networking and GPS, as well as radar and satellite communications systems.

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