SUNNYVALE, Calif. Simplex Solutions Inc. has reorganized its Thunder & Lightning analysis tool into four offerings for deep-submicron physical design. One of them, VoltageStorm 2.0, claims a threefold speedup for static and dynamic full-chip analyses of IC power grids.
Simplex no longer sells Thunder & Lightning as a single product. "Thunder & Lightning exists only as core technology," said Aki Fujimura, chief operating officer at Simplex (Sunnyvale, Calif.). "Thunder is fast, Spice-like simulation, and Lightning is matrix solver technology."
In place of Thunder & Lightning, Simplex now offers:
- VoltageStorm 2.0, which does IR (voltage) drop and electromigration analysis for power grids;
- ElectronStorm 2.0, which analyzes electromigration for signals;
- ClockStorm 2.0, which performs full-chip clock analysis;
- SI Report 2.0, which pinpoints coupling capacitance.
"What we did wit h the 2.0 release is to turn technologies into solutions for customers, with a customer flow in mind," Fujimura said.
The major technology change in the 2.0 releases is a speedup to the Lightning matrix solver technology thanks to algorithmic improvements.
The primary impact is felt in VoltageStorm, which claims a threefold speedup in both static and dynamic analysis. "In designs the customer really cares about dense designs in 0.25 micron with many layers of metal and larger power grids speedup is even more," Fujimura said. In one case, he said, a circuit with 80 million resistors experienced an 11-times speedup over the previous technology in Thunder & Lightning, with the analysis running in 96 minutes. Accuracy, said Fujimura, is still within 5 percent of Spice.
"Now there is no excuse for not requiring a power-grid signoff for every design before tapeout," Fujimura said. In a survey of 50 customer designs, he said, 75 percent needed changes after Simplex's power-grid analysis, and 25 percent of those chips needing changes would have failed without the fixes.
Before signal routing, VoltageStorm can analyze IR drop while after signal routing it can analyze power-grid signoff. The input for VoltageStorm is parasitic resistance/capacitance (RC) data from Simplex's Fire & Ice product. No other extraction product is currently supported.
VoltageStorm's output is a color-coded map showing IR drop across the chip. Electromigration problems are also highlighted in a format that shows wires with electromigration risk.
VoltageStorm 2.0 is available now on Unix workstations starting at $150,000. ClockStorm costs $100,000, ElectronStorm $100,000 and SI Report $25,000.