Triad Semiconductor and Mentor Graphics introduced ViaDesigner, which is a new electronic design automation (EDA) tool that enables system-level engineers, who have no previous IC design experience, to design their own mixed-signal configurable ASICs. The new approach to low cost, mixed-signal IC design enables new IC development in two to six months, allows respins in less than four weeks, and can reduce the cost and risk typically associated with custom mixed-signal IC design.
ViaDesigner is built on comprehensive system-level design technology from Mentor Graphics and Triad’s intelligent ViaASIC library wizards. This new approach to IC design is an inexpensive, easy to use mixed signal design environment based on Mentor Graphics’ SystemVision EDA software that runs on a Windows PC.
The foundation for ViaDesigner is the SystemVision design environment by Mentor Graphics, which seamlessly merges design capture, SPICE simulation, digital simulation, and high-level VHDL-AMS behavioral modeling into a unified design flow. Triad’s ViaDesigner tunes and extends the SystemVision environment by adding an easy-to-use set of ViaASIC library wizards that help the user design sophisticated mixed-signal circuits while freeing the designer from the tedium and expertise required of full-custom IC layout. ViaDesigner output is mapped to a ViaASIC utilizing Triad’s mixed-signal aware place & route software, ViaPath.
ViaDesigner makes low-cost, mixed-signal IC design available to system-level engineers. ViaDesigner coupled with ViaASIC technology provides designer’s with a low-cost way to combine precision analog functions, data converters, ARM processors, custom digital logic, non-volatile memory and power management into their own optimized IC.
ViaDesigner supports designing at high levels of abstraction to speed up the development process. ViaDesigner wizards guide the user through the realization of low-level IC elements (such as matched resistors, capacitors, switches, op-amps) without forcing the user to be an expert in device physics or a particular foundry’s full-custom design rules. Triad’s own IC designers focus on the details of full-custom best practices and then make well-behaved IC resources available to their customers for easy selection and configuration of custom ICs through ViaDesigner wizards. In essence, Triad’s new ViaDesigner offering lets system engineers design their own custom ICs in a simplified process that is very much like designing a printed circuit board circuit out of discrete components.