MORGAN HILL, Calif. Expanding the suite of offerings based on its 3-D extraction technology, OEA International Inc. is heading to the 39th Design Automation Conference (DAC) with two new products: RF-Pass, an analysis tool for passive component design; and Net-An/PT, which couples OEA's critical net extractor with Synopsys Inc.'s PrimeTime offering.
OEA's underlying technology is a 3-D field solver that the company says can handle larger structures than other 3-D solvers. The technology is applicable to the RF domain with such added capabilities as skin effect, substrate coupling and return currents in the substrate.
Aimed at analog and RF designers, RF-Pass analyzes multiple-layer inter-digitated capacitors, inductors, transformers, resistors, pads, interconnects or any combination of these elements. It outputs distributed Spice netlists that include resistance, capacitance, inductance and mutual inductance, and generates scattering, admittance and impedance parameters.
The tool represents a middle ground between extremely accurate yet slow RF analysis tools, and fast tools that might not look at skin effect or inductance, said Haris Basit, vice president of business development at OEA International.
"If you're looking at a simple thing like an inductor, it would take less than a minute," Basit said. "More complex structures, like transformers and capacitors interacting with each other, might take 20 or 30 minutes." Accuracy, he said, is within a few percent of measured data.
Input includes a GDSII layout file and a technology file that describes such things as vertical stackup, metal thickness, and die constants. A graphical user interface lets users import the layout data and define ports and select frequencies.
In addition to the distributed Spice netlist and associated parameters, RF-Pass can fit parameters to an equivalent lumped circuit model for higher-level simulation. "You don't want a full Spice model, you want something you can emulate over a range of frequencies," Basit said.
The tool covers all normal RF frequencies and can handle optical interconnect frequencies as high as 40 GHz, Basit said. But the actual frequency limit is design-dependent. "The tool degrades as the size of the structure is approximately equal to a quarter of the wavelength," he said.
RF-Pass starts at $105,000 and is available now on Unix platforms.
Critical net finder
Net-An/PT is an extension of Net-An, OEA's 3-D critical net extraction tool. It's the product of a joint technology and OEM agreement with Silicon Metrics Corp., a provider of IC characterization tools.
"One of the issues with Net-An is that designers always want to know how they determine what their critical nets are," said Jerry Tallinger, OEA's vice president of sales and marketing. "The missing piece in that was the link with Synopsys' PrimeTime." Now, said Tallinger, a TCL interface within PrimeTime lets users run that tool to find the critical paths, and then call up Net-An for a more detailed analysis.
After PrimeTime users submit the critical nets for analysis, Net-An performs the extraction and generates DSPF or SPEF format files that can be fed back into PrimeTime. This, said Tallinger, allows for more accuracy than formula-based extraction tools.
Net-An allows "a very fast field solution for extremely large structures, like an entire clock net on a processor," Tallinger said. It also extracts inductance and mutual inductance, and looks at coupled nets, he noted.
The Net-An/PT interface tool is available now starting at $20,000.
OEA will be heading to DAC with two other recently announced products. One is P-Plan 2.0, called the first hierarchical design planner for power distribution networks. The other is Henry 2.0, which updates the company's inductance extraction tool to analyze frequency-dependent inductance and resistance. The company is also offering some free tutorials on extraction techniques at DAC.