PCircuit EM Device Synthesis


High quality built-in and customized passive devices are efficiently designed in PeakView™ using PCircuits. Instead of creating scalable models from sets of discrete measured/simulated geometries, (i.e from lengthy Design of Experiments (DOEs)), PeakView™ users can zero in on ideal device characteristics by directly utilizing its EM engine. This use of the PeakView™ EM solver allows for a broad design-space and more accurate models specific to desired applications. PeakView™ synthesized components can now include high port count and complex devices, whereas it was difficult to characterize these designs due to their large solution space and port numbers.

PeakView™ Synthesized EM devices in Design Layout

PeakView is an extensible EM simulation and layout generation tool. PeakView provides users with a standard library of pre-defined cells consisting of inductors, baluns, transmission lines, interconnect, transformers, etc. Users are also able to define their own parameterized EM cells by writing Pcircuits with Python language. After loading a Pcircuit file in PeakDesign through the pull-down Circuit Menu, the user-defined EM cells behave the same as standard pre-defined cells, and PeakView can simulate, synthesize ,and generate DRC clean layouts for them.

A Pcircuit describes a parameterized EM netlist and physical structure using the python language. It combines EM properties, connectivity and physical structure in the Python description. Python is an open-source scripting language. It has many great features to support object-oriented design and provide high level built-in data structures.

PeakView EM engine uses a Pcircuit to generate the geometry for performing a 3D, full-wave EM simulation. The Pcircuit generates a DRC clean layout using rules provided by the PeakView profile and an innovative class library that abstracts the construction of the desired device. Compared with conventional parametrized cell generation tools (e.g. SKILL based Pcells), PeakView simplifies this process of creating simulation inputs – and ultimately design elements.  The separation of DRC rules from Pcircuit programming thus greatly simplifies the process of parameterized layout.

A Pcircuit is defined hierarchically. A user can construct a more complex Pcircuit by using other more basic ones as building blocks. In addition to primitives such as path, line, polygon, PeakView also provides some advanced structures such as spiral square and spiral symmetric.

Pcircuit describes EM structures with a netlist-like format. All elements in a Pcircuit are connected to other elements through nodes. Nodes not only have EM significance, but also direct PeakView to generate vias to connect different paths existing in different metal layers in accordance with their connectivity. Major advantages of using Pcircuits are summarized here.

Eliminates Pcell Dependence

PCircuits™ are free from manual design, development and support associated with Pcells. This addresses the delays involving Pcell development from foundries that slow down projects. Moreover, if specific Pcells are not available with a PDK, or not available with all metal configurations in a PDK,  then users need to resort to manually drawing the cells they require.

PeakView™’s PCircuits eliminate the manual drawing effort required for customized devices. PCircuits are process independent, and therefore, the built-in library of devices  are immediately ready for use regardless of process node. Designers further have the flexibility work with PCircuits in any IC layout editor of their choice.

Eliminates Scalable Model Dependence

PCircuit EM simulation depends only on the PeakView™ process profile. Once the process stack-up information is set up by PeakView™ iRCX or ITF parsers, PCircuits are ready to be used for device synthesis. Conventional practice for designers is to wait for foundries to provide additional Pcells they require. These Pcells are not portable from process to process or stack-up to stack-up. On the other hand, with PCircuits, if a user switches to a different process node or metal stack-up, only the PeakView™ profile needs to be set up  for the new node or flavor. All customized and built-in PCircuits can then be re-utilized with the new profile without having to depend on the foundry to characterize them as PDK-specific entities.

Efficient Customization

PCircuits make it easy to add guard rings, pattern ground shields and dummy fills to devices. These elements are included as PeakView™ options that can be added using the PeakView™ GUI. Each of the elements can be adjusted and optimized easily from within the design platform.

Lorentz Solution provides customized PCircuits to extend existing libraries and rapidly accommodate unique design needs of users. Our services provide for faster, more efficient design turnaround for EM device synthesis.


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