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Custom Design Automation (CDA®)

CDA is a new class of EDA tool – pioneered and developed by Pulsic – that releases engineers from the constraints imposed by ASIC design styles and automates complex custom design layout to give you faster design, more accurate iteration and better optimal outcomes.

CDA brings together planning, placement and shape-based routing in a single hierarchical environment, enabling productivity boosts of up to 50% in custom layout to be realised.

Automating mixed signal design

CDA reverses the traditional ‘bottom up’ custom design approach – starting with leaf cells of transistors, followed by layer-on-layer of logic – with a ‘top-down’ approach that integrates timing-driven placement, intelligent floorplanning and hierarchy management.

  • Tools to support simultaneous implementation of standard, custom cells and transistors in layout.
  • Automated constraint-driven floorplanning, placement, routing and editing.

Shaping up for profit

Today’s CDA architectures incorporate intelligent floorplanning, hierarchy management with timing-driven and specialised placement technologies (for example, super cluster placement) on a constraint-driven shape-based routing foundation to deliver dramatic results. A recent mixed-signal design – now in production – yielded a 25% area reduction and 20% less vias to improve yield.

In DRAM design, for example, CDA delivers – super cluster placement with spine and stitch routing – that resolves the commercial design challenge of minimising peripheral logic spine height.

From design to implementation

Homogenous and hierarchical constraint management across floorplanning, placement and routing means designers can set physical, electrical, object and inter-object relationships with constraints. Together with other design intents – such as clustering, timing, width, spacing or shielding – these can be set and held in the design environment and maintained throughout physical implementation.

Coping with change

A shape-based physical design platform also deals effectively with change, making it easy to assimilate new design rules and minimise the area impact of ECOs.

With shape-based CDA, the change process becomes both interactive and iterative and s can be performed locally (unlike grid-based routers which handle ECOs by performing large scale re-routing of the design).

Incremental routing capabilities significantly reduce the time to incorporate ECOs. Designers can stop automatic routing, make adjustments to the floorplan, routing costs or other rules – or even route a section by hand – before recommencing auto-routing.