editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Starting from Scratch

In this “advanced” age of EDA, it’s not uncommon for new point tools to come along, improving some bottleneck in an otherwise reasonably well-established tool chain. What’s less common is for an entire new tool flow to emerge. And it’s even less common yet for one to emerge all from a single company. And a small one, no less.

And yet that’s what’s happened recently in the analog/custom world. Vivid Engineering, at its roots a design services house, has launched Symica (they haven’t decided whether it’s “S?-mi-ca” or “S?-mi-ca… my vote is for the former…), an end-to-end suite of tools including

– a design environment

– a schematic editor

– a SPICE simulator

– a waveform viewer

– a layout editor

– a PDK creation tool

– a SKILL translator

They can also connect into other flows for logic synthesis or automated place-and-route.

The obvious question is, wow, why do we need a complete new set of all of these? And their answer is that freelancers and small companies need access to inexpensive tools. From Vivid’s standpoint, there’s not a lot of choice out there, and what exists is expensive. In fact, they even claim that, for cost reasons, some designers are doing chip design using PCB layout tools like OrCAD.

To address this, their full-up package (including digital simulation interface) is $5300 for a perpetual floating node. (The PDK creator and SKILL translator are sold separately.)

Needless to say, a price like that will not subsidize the smooth-talking, swanky sales guy in the spiffy suit that typically accompanies an EDA tool sale. This is web-based selling. They do have live support by phone or email.

This was an organic development, self-funded (and, something that is probably helping them sleep nights, they’re not actively looking for investors). They’ve actually used proprietary formats for their files; they claim that OpenAccess isn’t, in fact, very open. Or at least not well-documented – it wasn’t possible for them to work with that format, at least not at this point.

More info in their release

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Mar 5, 2021
The combination of the figure and the moving sky in this diorama -- accompanied by the music -- is really rather tasty. Our cats and I could watch this for hours....
Mar 5, 2021
In February, we continued to build out the content on the website, released a new hierarchy for RF products, and added ways to find Samtec “Reserve” products. Here are the major web updates to Samtec.com for February 2021. Edge Card Content Page Samtec offers a fu...
Mar 5, 2021
Massive machine type communications (mMTC) along with enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) and Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC) represent the three pillars of the 5G initiative defined... [[ Click on the title to access the full blog on the Cadence Community sit...
Mar 5, 2021
Explore what's next in automotive sensors, such as the roles of edge computing & sensor fusion and impact of sensor degradation & software lifecycle management. The post How Sensor Fusion Technology Is Driving Autonomous Cars appeared first on From Silicon To Softw...

featured paper

Use Configurable Digital IO To Give Your Industrial Controller the Edge

Sponsored by Maxim Integrated

As factories get bigger, centralized industrial process control has become difficult to manage. While there have been attempts to simplify the task, it remains unwieldy. In this design solution, we briefly review the centralized approach before looking at what potential changes edge computing will bring to the factory floor. We also show a digital IO IC that allows for smaller, more adaptable programmable logic controllers (PLCs) more suited to this developing architecture.

Click here to download the whitepaper

Featured Chalk Talk

Intel NUC Elements

Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and Intel

Intel Next Unit of Computing (NUC) compute elements are small-form-factor barebone computer kits and components that are perfect for a wide variety of system designs. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Kristin Brown of Intel System Product Group about pre-engineered solutions from Intel that can provide the appropriate level of computing power for your next design, with a minimal amount of development effort from your engineering team.

Click here for more information about Intel NUC 8 Compute Element (U-Series)