Agilent Technologies Inc. announced its support for IBIS-AMI (Algorithmic Modeling Interface), a modeling standard for SerDes transceivers created to enable fast, statistically significant analysis of high-speed serial links. Agilent's work in support of this standard is expected to yield the commercial release of a new version of Advanced Design System, ADS 2010, which will allow signal integrity designers to integrate IBIS-AMI models into their ADS projects.

"We are very pleased that our membership in the IBIS Advanced Technology Modeling Task Group has brought us to this juncture," said Colin Warwick, Product Marketing Manager with Agilent's EEsof EDA division. "We've been working with a number of leading IC vendors and believe our customers will benefit from the industry-wide adoption of this open standard. We also believe IBIS-AMI will level the playing field by making proprietary encrypted models obsolete. The models also can be written at the behavioral level, allowing them to run significantly faster."

High-speed digital chip I/O pins are increasingly making use of sophisticated signal processing techniques (e.g., pre-emphasis, adaptive equalization and clock-data recovery phase-locked-loops) in order to mitigate impairments that occur in packages, printed circuit boards, connectors and backplanes (e.g., attenuation, reflections and crosstalk). To use the new I/O capabilities to their fullest extent, signal integrity engineers require accurate models of the IC that can be used for system simulation in their EDA tools. The models act like an "executable datasheet" for the IC.

Much like the music industry used to be hampered by its fragmented, proprietary digital-rights-management (DRM) methods for copyright protection, the EDA industry has failed to create an open encryption standard. As a result, balkanization has occurred under multiple proprietary encryption keys. The IBIS-AMI standard circumvents this issue because its models are a compiled version of behavioral source code. IC vendors can share these models without having to protect the IP with encryption. One model can run in an EDA tool that supports the standard.

Common applications for Agilent's ADS that will benefit from IBIS-AMI model support include 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, data center servers and telecommunication switching centers to Internet routers. The accelerated simulation will help manufacturers of these products improve their time-to-market by arriving at an optimum design through rapid and complete exploration of the design space and by avoiding costly and time-consuming prototype iterations. ADS allows for co-design at the system, schematic and layout levels through integration of data flow, channel, circuit and electromagnetic simulators. IBIS-AMI will further add to the extensive model library available within ADS.