Last month’s CDNLive event in Munich was an important milestone for Thalia. We were able to publicly demonstrate our AMALIA analog migration flow, with particular focus on schematic porting.
The Thalia demo showed an example migration of Bluetooth IP – a circuit containing more than 10 libraries and several tens of schematics – from a 28nm to a 40nm process node. It’s a great example of how human design expertise and analog design automation can combine to speed and ease a migration project. And it’s an approach that can bring real business benefits: our customers are already reporting project timescales shortened, and costs reduced, by up to 50%. In the specific case of 28 to 40nm migration, it’s a move that allows balancing of cost, performance and power consumption, to address multiple market ‘sweet spots’.
I firmly believe that Thalia’s hybrid model is the way ahead for analog design
In my presentation on the final day of the event (Analog IP reuse & process migration: challenges & an innovative methodology to address them), I tried to give a flavor of how we feel Thalia is changing the landscape of analog design. Analog design inherently requires human expertise. But my argument is that, while there is an absolute need for human intelligence and experience, there are aspects of the design flow that could be sped up and improved using a sensible combination of targeted design automation and design experience.
Take analog migration: if you work in the analog world, you’ll know that ‘migration means redesign’ (there’s an excellent article by Ann Steffora Mutschler here on just that topic). That’s a simple home truth: but we shouldn’t therefore assume that there’s no role for design automation in the analog world. What we need to do is create tools and methodologies that support the designer. Because in today’s market, anything we can do to make the process more efficient – and make better use of ‘human capital’ – is hugely valuable.
You can download my presentation slides here.
Our recently-announced partnership with Catena addresses just this problem: we are working with them to completely rethink their approach to analog IP reuse. The aim is to produce a reuse methodology that combines human resources and automation as efficiently as possible, so that Catena can deliver products tailored exactly to customers’ requirements, quickly and at reduced cost. And of course an important part of that is targeting any process technology the customer requires.
I firmly believe that Thalia’s hybrid model – design experience and leveraging automation where it makes sense, and deploying people to do what people do best – is the way ahead for analog design.