editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Getting a Jump on Power Integrity

Apache announced their RTL Power Model (RPM) recently. The idea is that it lets designers understand their power and power integrity issues earlier in the design cycle. “Early,” however, is a relative term. Unlike some technologies that move such estimates to the architectural phase, this moves the capability from post-layout to RTL. That’s not to take anything away from it – they claim it gives designers a six-month jump on the problem.

The way this works involves a number of Apache tools, starting with PowerArtist. Actually, in order for PowerArtist to do its thing, one other piece has to be in place: a so-called PACE model.

A PACE model provides an estimate of a cell’s parasitics for a given technology. It’s done once, along with the development of the cell, and the PACE model becomes part of the designer’s kit.

That PACE model, along with other technology information, then feeds PowerArtist, which looks through the RTL and infers cells for the circuit. Even though no layout has been done, by knowing the cells, you can call up the PACE model and estimate the parasitics and power implications.

You then simulate your design, and PowerArtist creates the RPM. It does this by calculating an estimate of the energy consumed by each cell as it runs and dividing that by the clock period to derive a power-per-cycle metric for each cell. Those are summed together, and, from that, the tool can identify both power peaks and events with rapid current changes (high di/dt).

For each of these types of event, they define a “frame” around it – roughly 10 or so clock cycles, which includes both the lead-up to and follow-up from the event. The RPM consists of these frames, accompanied by various libraries and pieces of proprietary information that can then be delivered to the RedHawk tool.

With this information, RedHawk will build a current waveform for each clock cycle in each frame. With that waveform, you can use RedHawk to play with early power grid ideas or to start working on chip/package co-design issues, focusing only on those events known to be a challenge.

So this lets you get started dealing with potential power integrity issues long before the layout is available to give you exact results. Obviously, the analysis will need to be repeated for confirmation when the layout is ready, but, hopefully, by then, the major issues will already have been addressed.

More info in their release

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Jan 21, 2022
Here are a few teasers for what you'll find in this week's round-up of CFD news and notes. How AI can be trained to identify more objects than are in its learning dataset. Will GPUs really... [[ Click on the title to access the full blog on the Cadence Community si...
Jan 20, 2022
High performance computing continues to expand & evolve; our team shares their 2022 HPC predictions including new HPC applications and processor architectures. The post The Future of High-Performance Computing (HPC): Key Predictions for 2022 appeared first on From Silico...
Jan 20, 2022
As Josh Wardle famously said about his creation: "It's not trying to do anything shady with your data or your eyeballs ... It's just a game that's fun.'...

featured video

AI SoC Chats: Understanding Compute Needs for AI SoCs

Sponsored by Synopsys

Will your next system require high performance AI? Learn what the latest systems are using for computation, including AI math, floating point and dot product hardware, and processor IP.

Click here for more information about DesignWare IP for Amazing AI

featured paper

Using the MAX66242 Mobile Application, the Basics

Sponsored by Analog Devices

This application note describes the basics of the near-field communication (NFC)/radio frequency identification (RFID) MAX66242EVKIT board and an application utilizing the NFC capabilities of iOS and Android® based mobile devices to exercise board functionality. It then demonstrates how the application enables the user with the ability to use the memory and secure features of the MAX66242. It also shows how to use the MAX66242 with an onboard I2C temperature sensor which demonstrates the energy harvesting feature of the device.

Click to read more

featured chalk talk

Sensor Technologies Here to Stay: Post-pandemic

Sponsored by Infineon

Today sensor technology has become integral to our everyday lives. And in the future, sensor technology will mean even more than it does today. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with David Jones from Infineon about the future of sensor technologies and how they are going to impact our lives in the post-pandemic world. They investigate how miniaturization, built-in antennas in-package and the evolution of radar technology have helped usher in a whole new era of sensing technologies and how all of this and more will help us live healthier and happier lives.

Click here for more information about Infineon's sensor technology portfolio