By Rick Nelson, Editor-in-Chief -- EDN, 12/22/2009Berkeley Design Automation Inc has announced AFS RF (Analog FastSpice radio frequency), which Chief Operating Officer Paul Estrada calls the industry’s first true Spice-accurate noise-analysis tool for RF circuits. AFS RF accurately analyzes nanometer-scale device noise impact for all types of prelayout and postlayout circuits, ensuring early insight into its impact on performance, power, and area.
Before the emergence of AFS RF, designers had to use limited-spectrum RF tools that can only approximate device noise impact on RF circuits, Estrada explains. Such approximations are increasingly inaccurate with decreasing process geometries, often becoming grossly inaccurate in nanometer-scale circuits. Circuits with sharp transitions, such as switched-capacitor filters, charge pumps, and dividers; high-frequency circuits, such as RF front-end blocks; and oscillators are especially sensitive to these inaccuracies. Without accurate analysis, designers must include expensive design margin or risk missing specifications in silicon.
Using the industry’s first full-spectrum device-noise-analysis engine, Analog FastSpice RF provides true Spice accuracy for every run. For complex circuits, it is five to 10 times faster than traditional RF tools that can only approximate device-noise effects. AFS RF features the DNA (device noise-analysis) Advisor to characterize DNA requirements, high-capacity periodic-steady-state analysis for greater than 100,000-element postlayout circuits, full-spectrum periodic-noise analysis with true Spice accuracy, full-spectrum total oscillator-device-noise analysis capability with phase and amplitude noise, and harmonic balance for fast single-tone analysis of moderately nonlinear circuits.
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