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[Dissertation Talk] Berkeley Analog Generator - A Designer-Oriented Framework for the Development of AMS Circuit Generators

Seminar: Departmental: BWRC | May 10 | 4-5 p.m. | Berkeley Wireless Research Center, Classroom

2108 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704

John Crossley, U.C. Berkeley, EECS, BWRC

Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS)

The recent trend in embedding multiple applications into a single System-on-Chip (SoC) has resulted in a substantial increase in the number of digital and Analog/Mixed-Signal (AMS) components integrated per die. Although these AMS components typically occupy a small fraction of the whole IC, they often represent a bottleneck in terms of design time because typical design flows require substantial manual intervention from the designer throughout the design process, from the definition of system specifications down to layout implementation, and multiple iterations across all layers are required to achieve the desired performance. This is especially true for designs started in or migrated to advanced technology nodes, where the layout has a dramatic impact on the performance of the analog components and its effects must be taken into consideration early in the design process. It would thus be desirable to automate the design of AMS circuits and foster their reuse across multiple SoCs and technology generations, to shorten time-to-market of new products and to free analog designers from performing repetitive tasks (e.g. circuit redesign due to a change in the specifications or technology migration).

In this talk, we will present the Berkeley Analog Generator (BAG) framework, an integrated framework for the development of generators of Analog and Mixed Signal (AMS) circuits. Such generators are parameterized design procedures that produce sized schematics and correct layouts optimized to meet a set of input specifications. BAG extends previous work by implementing interfaces to integrate all steps of the design flow into a single environment and by providing helper classes -- both at the schematic and layout level -- to aid the designer in developing truly parameterized and technology-independent circuit generators by simplifying the codification of common tasks including technology characterization, schematic and testbench translation, simulator interfacing, physical verification and extraction, and parameterized layout creation for common styles of layout. We believe that this approach will foster design reuse, ease technology migration and shorten time-to-market, while remaining close to the classical design flow to ease the adoption of the tool. BAG has been used to create several circuit generators; in this talk we will focus on the development of a generator used to create three instances of a Switched-Capacitor (SC) voltage regulator targeting different power densities, absolute output power, and aspect ratios.