electronic design automation
   HOME

TheInfoList



Electronic design automation (EDA), also referred to as electronic computer-aided design (ECAD), is a category of
software tools A programming tool or software development tool is a computer program A computer program is a collection of instructions that can be executed by a computer to perform a specific task. A computer program is usually written by a computer progr ...
for designing electronic systems such as
integrated circuit An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit (also referred to as an IC, a chip, or a microchip) is a set of electronic circuits on one small flat piece (or "chip") of semiconductor material, usually silicon. Transistor count, Larg ...

integrated circuit
s and
printed circuit board A printed circuit board (PCB) mechanically supports and electrically connects electrical or electronic components using Electrical conductor, conductive tracks, pads and other features industrial etching, etched from one or more sheet layers o ...

printed circuit board
s. The tools work together in a design flow that chip designers use to design and analyze entire
semiconductor A semiconductor material has an electrical conductivity Electrical resistivity (also called specific electrical resistance or volume resistivity) is a fundamental property of a material that quantifies how strongly it resists electric curre ...
chips. Since a modern semiconductor chip can have billions of components, EDA tools are essential for their design; this article in particular describes EDA specifically with respect to
integrated circuit An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit (also referred to as an IC, a chip, or a microchip) is a set of electronic circuits on one small flat piece (or "chip") of semiconductor material, usually silicon. Transistor count, Larg ...

integrated circuit
s (ICs).


History


Early days

Prior to the development of EDA,
integrated circuit An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit (also referred to as an IC, a chip, or a microchip) is a set of electronic circuits on one small flat piece (or "chip") of semiconductor material, usually silicon. Transistor count, Larg ...

integrated circuit
s were designed by hand and manually laid out. Some advanced shops used geometric software to generate tapes for a Gerber
photoplotterA photoplotter is a specialized electro-opto-mechanical machine that exposes a latent image on a medium, usually high-contrast monochromatic (black-and-white) photographic film, using a light source under computer control. Once the film has been expo ...
, responsible for generating a monochromatic exposure image, but even those copied digital recordings of mechanically drawn components. The process was fundamentally graphic, with the translation from electronics to graphics done manually; the best-known company from this era was
Calma Calma Company, based in Sunnyvale, California, was, between 1965 and 1988, a vendor of digitizers and minicomputer-based graphics systems targeted at the cartographic and electronic, mechanical and architectural design markets. In the electronic ...
, whose
GDSII Image:Silicon chip 3d.png, 300px, A rendering of a small GDSII standard cell with three metal layers (dielectric has been removed). The sand-colored structures are metal interconnect, with the vertical pillars being contacts, typically plugs of tun ...
format is still in use today. By the mid-1970s, developers started to automate circuit design in addition to drafting and the first placement and routing tools were developed; as this occurred, the proceedings of the
Design Automation Conference The Design Automation Conference, or DAC, is an annual event, a combination of a technical conference and a trade show, both specializing in electronic design automation Electronic design automation (EDA), also referred to as electronic comput ...
catalogued the large majority of the developments of the time. The next era began following the publication of "Introduction to
VLSI Very large-scale integration (VLSI) is the process of creating an integrated circuit An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit (also referred to as an IC, a chip, or a microchip) is a set of electronic circuits on one small f ...
Systems" by
Carver Mead Carver Andress Mead (born 1 May 1934) is an American scientist and engineer. He currently holds the position of Gordon and Betty Moore Professor Emeritus of Engineering and Applied Science at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), ha ...
and
Lynn Conway Lynn Ann Conway (born January 2, 1938) is an American computer science, computer scientist, electrical engineering, electrical engineer, inventor, and transgender activist. Conway is notable for a number of pioneering achievements. She worked ...
in 1980; this groundbreaking text advocated chip design with programming languages that compiled to silicon. The immediate result was a considerable increase in the complexity of the chips that could be designed, with improved access to design verification tools that used
logic simulation Logic simulation is the use of simulation software to predict the behavior of digital circuits and hardware description language In computer engineering, a hardware description language (HDL) is a specialized computer language used to describe ...
. Often the chips were easier to lay out and more likely to function correctly, since their designs could be simulated more thoroughly prior to construction. Although the languages and tools have evolved, this general approach of specifying the desired behavior in a textual programming language and letting the tools derive the detailed physical design remains the basis of digital IC design today. The earliest EDA tools were produced academically. One of the most famous was the "Berkeley VLSI Tools Tarball", a set of
UNIX Unix (; trademarked as UNIX) is a family of multitasking, multiuser Multi-user software is computer software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions and data (computing), data that tell a computer how to ...
utilities used to design early VLSI systems. Still widely used are the
Espresso heuristic logic minimizer The ESPRESSO logic minimizer is a computer program using heuristic and specific algorithms for efficiently reducing the complexity of digital logic gate circuits. ESPRESSO-I was originally developed at IBM by Robert K. Brayton et. al. in 1982. and ...
, responsible for circuit complexity reductions and
Magic Magic or Magick may refer to: * Ceremonial magic, encompasses a wide variety of rituals of magic * Chaos magic#REDIRECT Chaos magic {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from miscapitalization {{R unprintworthy ..., a contemporary magical practic ...
, a computer-aided design platform. Another crucial development was the formation of
MOSIS MOSIS (Metal Oxide Semiconductor Implementation Service) provides metal–oxide–semiconductor The metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET, MOS-FET, or MOS FET), also known as the metal–oxide–silicon transistor (MOS t ...
, a consortium of universities and fabricators that developed an inexpensive way to train student chip designers by producing real integrated circuits. The basic concept was to use reliable, low-cost, relatively low-technology IC processes and pack a large number of projects per
wafer A wafer is a crisp, often sweet, very thin, flat, light and dry cookie, often used to decorate ice cream, and also used as a garnish on some sweet dishes. Wafers can also be made into cookies with cream flavoring sandwiched between them. They ...
, with several copies of chips from each project remaining preserved. Cooperating fabricators either donated the processed wafers or sold them at cost, as they saw the program helpful to their own long-term growth.


Birth of commercial EDA

1981 marked the beginning of EDA as an industry. For many years, the larger electronic companies, such as
Hewlett Packard The Hewlett-Packard Company, commonly shortened to Hewlett-Packard ( ) or HP, was an American multinational information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question of "What an entity is" ...
,
Tektronix Tektronix, Inc., historically widely known as Tek, is an United States, American company best known for manufacturing test and measurement devices such as oscilloscopes, logic analyzers, and video and mobile test protocol equipment. Originally an ...
and
Intel Intel Corporation is an American multinational corporation and technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, Santa Clara, California. It is the world's largest semiconductor chip manufacturer by revenue, and is the developer of ...

Intel
, had pursued EDA internally, with managers and developers beginning to spin out of these companies to concentrate on EDA as a business.
Daisy Systems Daisy Systems Corporation, incorporated in 1981 in Mountain View, California Mountain View is a city in Santa Clara County, California Santa Clara County, officially the County of Santa Clara, is California's List of counties in California, 6th ...
,
Mentor Graphics Mentor Graphics was a US-based electronic design automation (EDA) multinational corporation A multinational company (MNC) is a corporate organization that owns or controls the production of goods or services in at least one country other than ...
and
Valid Logic Systems Cadence Design Systems, Inc., headquartered in San Jose, California, is an American multinational corporation, multinational computational software company, founded in 1988 by the merger of SDA Systems and ECAD, Inc. The company produces software, h ...
were all founded around this time and collectively referred to as DMV. In 1981, the
U.S. Department of Defense The United States Department of Defense (DoD, USDOD or DOD) is an executive branch department of the federal government charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government directly related to national secur ...
additionally began funding of
VHDL The VHSIC Hardware Description Language (VHDL) is a hardware description language In computer engineering, a hardware description language (HDL) is a specialized computer language used to describe the structure and behavior of electronic cir ...
as a hardware description language. Within a few years, there were many companies specializing in EDA, each with a slightly different emphasis. The first trade show for EDA was held at the
Design Automation Conference The Design Automation Conference, or DAC, is an annual event, a combination of a technical conference and a trade show, both specializing in electronic design automation Electronic design automation (EDA), also referred to as electronic comput ...
in 1984 and in 1986,
Verilog Verilog, standardized as IEEE 1364, is a hardware description language In computer engineering, a hardware description language (HDL) is a specialized computer language used to describe the structure and behavior of electronic circuits, and mo ...
, another popular high-level design language, was first introduced as a hardware description language by
Gateway Design Automation "Verilog HDL originated at Automated Integrated Design Systems (later renamed as Gateway Design Automation) in 1985. The company was privately held at that time by Dr. Prabhu Goel, the inventor of the PODEM (Path-Oriented Decision Making) test ge ...
. Simulators quickly followed these introductions, permitting direct simulation of chip designs and executable specifications. Within several years, back-ends were developed to perform
logic synthesis In computer engineering Computer engineering (CoE or CpE) is a branch of engineering Engineering is the use of scientific method, scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunn ...
.


Current status

Current digital flows are extremely modular, with front ends producing standardized design descriptions that compile into invocations of units similar to cells without regard to their individual technology. Cells implement logic or other electronic functions via the utilisation of a particular integrated circuit technology. Fabricators generally provide libraries of components for their production processes, with simulation models that fit standard simulation tools. Most analog circuits are still designed in a manual fashion, requiring specialist knowledge that is unique to analog design (such as matching concepts). Hence, analog EDA tools are far less modular, since many more functions are required, they interact more strongly and the components are, in general, less ideal. EDA for electronics has rapidly increased in importance with the continuous scaling of
semiconductor A semiconductor material has an electrical conductivity Electrical resistivity (also called specific electrical resistance or volume resistivity) is a fundamental property of a material that quantifies how strongly it resists electric curre ...
technology. Some users are
foundry A foundry is a factory that produces metal castings. Metals are cast into shapes by melting them into a liquid, pouring the metal into a mold, and removing the mold material after the metal has solidified as it cools. The most common metals pro ...
operators, who operate the
semiconductor fabrication Semiconductor device fabrication is the process used to manufacture semiconductor devices, typically the metal–oxide–semiconductor (MOS) devices used in the integrated circuit An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circu ...
facilities ("fabs") and additional individuals responsible for utilising the technology design-service companies who use EDA software to evaluate an incoming design for manufacturing readiness. EDA tools are also used for programming design functionality into
FPGA A field-programmable gate array (FPGA) is an integrated circuit designed to be configured by a customer or a designer after manufacturinghence the term " field-programmable". The FPGA configuration is generally specified using a hardware descri ...
s or field-programmable gate arrays, customisable integrated circuit designs.


Software focuses


Design

Design flow primarily remains characterised via several primary components; these include: *
High-level synthesis High-level synthesis (HLS), sometimes referred to as C synthesis, electronic system-level (ESL) synthesis, algorithmic synthesis, or behavioral synthesis, is an automated design process that interprets an algorithmic description of a desired behav ...
(additionally known as behavioral synthesis or algorithmic synthesis) – The high-level design description (e.g. in C/C++) is converted into RTL or the register transfer level, responsible for representing circuitry via the utilisation of interactions between registers. *
Logic synthesis In computer engineering Computer engineering (CoE or CpE) is a branch of engineering Engineering is the use of scientific method, scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunn ...
– The translation of RTL design description (e.g. written in Verilog or VHDL) into a discrete
netlist In electronic design Electronic design automation (EDA), also referred to as electronic computer-aided design (ECAD), is a category of software tools for designing electronic systems such as integrated circuit An integrated circuit ...
or representation of logic gates. *
Schematic capture Image:Kicad_Eeschema_screenshot.jpg, Eeschema open source schematic capture. Part of the KiCad suite Schematic capture or schematic entry is a step in the design cycle of electronic design automation (EDA) at which the electronic diagram, or Circ ...
– For standard cell digital, analog, RF-like Capture CIS in Orcad by Cadence and ISIS in Proteus. *
Layout Layout may refer to: * Page layout, the arrangement of visual elements on a page ** Comprehensive layout (comp), a proposed page layout presented by a designer to their client * Layout (computing), the process of calculating the position of objec ...
– usually
schematic-driven layout Schematic driven layout is the concept in integrated circuit layout or Printed circuit board, PCB layout where the Electronic design automation, EDA software links the schematic and layout databases. It was one of the first big steps forward in lay ...
, like Layout in Orcad by Cadence, ARES in Proteus


Simulation

*
Transistor simulation
Transistor simulation
– low-level transistor-simulation of a schematic/layout's behavior, accurate at device-level. *
Logic simulation Logic simulation is the use of simulation software to predict the behavior of digital circuits and hardware description language In computer engineering, a hardware description language (HDL) is a specialized computer language used to describe ...
– digital-simulation of an RTL or gate-netlist's digital ( boolean 0/1) behavior, accurate at boolean-level. * Behavioral simulation – high-level simulation of a design's architectural operation, accurate at cycle-level or interface-level. *
Hardware emulation Ikos NSIM-64 Hardware simulation accelerator. In integrated circuit design Integrated circuit design, or IC design, is a subset of electronics engineering, encompassing the particular logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek: grc, wikt: ...
– Use of special purpose hardware to emulate the logic of a proposed design. Can sometimes be plugged into a system in place of a yet-to-be-built chip; this is called in-circuit emulation. *
Technology CADTechnology computer-aided design (technology CAD or TCAD) is a branch of electronic design automation that models semiconductor fabrication and semiconductor device operation. The modeling of the fabrication is termed Process TCAD, while the modeli ...
simulate and analyze the underlying process technology. Electrical properties of devices are derived directly from device physics. * Electromagnetic field solvers, or just Electromagnetic field solver, field solvers, solve Maxwell's equations directly for cases of interest in IC and PCB design. They are known for being slower but more accurate than the layout extraction above.


Analysis and verification

* Functional verification *Clock domain crossing, Clock domain crossing verification (CDC check): similar to Lint programming tool, linting, but these checks/tools specialize in detecting and reporting potential issues like data loss, Metastability in electronics, meta-stability due to use of multiple Clock domain, clock domains in the design. * Formal verification, also model checking: attempts to prove, by mathematical methods, that the system has certain desired properties, and that certain undesired effects (such as deadlock) cannot occur. * Formal equivalence checking, Equivalence checking: algorithmic comparison between a chip's RTLinux, RTL-description and synthesized gate-
netlist In electronic design Electronic design automation (EDA), also referred to as electronic computer-aided design (ECAD), is a category of software tools for designing electronic systems such as integrated circuit An integrated circuit ...
, to ensure functional equivalence at the ''logical'' level. * Static timing analysis: analysis of the timing of a circuit in an input-independent manner, hence finding a worst case over all possible inputs. * Physical verification, PV: checking if a design is physically manufacturable, and that the resulting chips will not have any function-preventing physical defects, and will meet original specifications.


Manufacturing preparation

* Mask data preparation or MDP - The generation of actual Photolithography, lithography photomask, photomasks, utilised to physically manufacture the chip. ** ''Chip finishing'' which includes custom designations and structures to improve design for manufacturability (IC), manufacturability of the layout. Examples of the latter are a seal ring and filler structures. ** Producing a ''reticle layout'' with test patterns and alignment marks. **''Layout-to-mask preparation'' that enhances layout data with graphics operations, such as Resolution enhancement techniques or RET – methods for increasing the quality of the final photomask. This also includes Optical proximity correction or OPC – the up-front compensation for diffraction and Interference (wave propagation), interference effects occurring later when chip is manufactured using this mask. ** ''Mask generation'' – The generation of flat mask image from hierarchical design. ** ''Automatic test pattern generation'' or ATPG – The generation of pattern data systematically to exercise as many logic-gates and other components as possible. ** ''Built-in self-test'' or BIST – The installation of self-contained test-controllers to automatically test a logic or memory structure in the design


Functional safety

* Functional safety analysis, systematic computation of failure in time (FIT) rates and diagnostic coverage metrics for designs in order to meet the compliance requirements for the desired safety integrity levels. * Functional Safety Synthesis, Functional safety synthesis, add reliability enhancements to structured elements (modules, RAMs, ROMs, register files, FIFOs) to improves fault detection / fault tolerance. These includes (not limited to), addition of error detection and / or correction codes (Hamming), redundant logic for fault detection and fault tolerance (duplicate / triplicate) and protocol checks (Interface parity, address alignment, beat count) * Functional Safety Verification, Functional safety verification, running of a fault campaign, including insertion of faults into the design and verification that the safety mechanism reacts in an appropriate manner for the faults that are deemed covered. Image:Gschem and gerbv.jpg, 380px, PCB layout and schematic for connector design


Companies


Old companies

Market capitalization and company name : * $5.77 billion – Synopsys * $4.46 billion – Cadence Design Systems, Cadence * $2.33 billion –
Mentor Graphics Mentor Graphics was a US-based electronic design automation (EDA) multinational corporation A multinational company (MNC) is a corporate organization that owns or controls the production of goods or services in at least one country other than ...
* $507 million – Magma Design Automation; Synopsys acquired Magma in February 2012 * New Taiwan dollar, NT$6.44 billion – SpringSoft; Synopsys acquired SpringSoft in August 2012 * ¥11.95 billion – Zuken, Zuken Inc. Note: EEsof should likely be on this list, but it does not have a market cap as it is the EDA division of Keysight.


Acquisitions

Many EDA companies acquire small companies with software or other technology that can be adapted to their core business. Most of the market leaders are amalgamations of many smaller companies and this trend is helped by the tendency of software companies to design tools as accessories that fit naturally into a larger vendor's suite of programs on digital circuitry; many new tools incorporate analog design and mixed systems. This is happening due to a trend to place System on a chip, entire electronic systems on a single chip.


See also

* Computer-aided design (CAD) * Circuit design * EDA database * Signoff (electronic design automation) * Comparison of EDA software * Platform-based design


References

;Notes * http://www.staticfreesoft.com/documentsTextbook.html Computer Aids for VLSI Design by Steven M. Rubin * ''Fundamentals of Layout Design for Electronic Circuits'', by Lienig, Scheible, Springer, , 2020 * ''VLSI Physical Design: From Graph Partitioning to Timing Closure'', by Kahng, Lienig, Markov and Hu, , 2011 * ''Electronic Design Automation For Integrated Circuits Handbook'', by Lavagno, Martin, and Scheffer, , 2006 * ''The Electronic Design Automation Handbook'', by Dirk Jansen et al., Kluwer Academic Publishers, , 2003, available also in German (2005) * ''Combinatorial Algorithms for Integrated Circuit Layout'', by Thomas Lengauer, , Teubner Verlag, 1997. {{DEFAULTSORT:Electronic Design Automation Electronic design automation, Electronic engineering