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ARM has utilised Magma Design Automation’s Siliconsmart characterisation and modelling software suite to enhance and expand ARM’s production characterisation system for Physical IP products.

This characterisation system will assist ARM in delivering standard cell and I/O libraries.

ARM Physical IP products provide a wide range of building blocks to create optimised system-on-chip (SoC) designs without compromising silicon area and performance.

To enable designers to incorporate this IP into today’s implementation and sign-off flows, ARM must provide qualified, accurate electrical models such as composite current source (CCS) and effective current source models (ECSM) for timing, power and noise.

Accurate IBIS models for I/Os are also required to support board-level electrical analysis.

To ensure these libraries work across a wide range of applications and SoC design flows, these models must be generated across numerous process points, supply voltages and junction temperatures.

Siliconsmart is a fast and accurate component of the ARM characterisation system that generates and validates these models, increasing predictability of silicon and improving designer productivity.

‘The Physical IP solutions made available via our process-optimised, high-performance and high-density standard-cell libraries and general-purpose and specialty I/Os provide our customers with the ability to meet the most demanding design requirements,’ said Brent Dichter, ARM vice-president of design automation, Physical IP division.

‘Our customers’ requirements continually evolve over time and Siliconsmart has helped us develop the automation, performance and reliability we need to rapidly characterise our standard-cell and I/O products,’ he added.

‘There are significant challenges associated with designing IP libraries for a wide range of design applications, as well as setting up a process for generating accurate timing, power and noise model libraries that will work in different EDA flows,’ said Anirudh Devgan, general manager of Magma’s custom design business unit.

‘Given the volume of characterisation ARM requires, setting up a process and generating the necessary models in a timely fashion is enhanced by the characterisation flow based on Magma’s Siliconsmart,’ he added.

Siliconsmart provides standard cell and I/O characterisation and modelling for all popular design flows and supports advanced timing and power modelling.

It is a comprehensive library characterisation system that produces production-ready models with minimal setup effort, according to Magma.

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