Pulsic has been gradually taking their technologies and turning them into flows. We saw that last year with their planning tools; now place and route are getting the treatment.
They’ve announced a placer and a router for custom digital design and a router for custom analog design. Note that they don’t have one bucket for “custom” that handles both digital and analog since the two typically involve different problems that need solving.
They’ve incorporated automation both in the placing and routing, but we all know that the whole reason custom design is separate from digital design is that automation has a spotty record for custom design. It’s actually getting better, but, in all cases, designers get far more control than they would with a standard digital tool.
Pulsic has implemented guided flows that can either be automatically traversed from beginning to end or “single-stepped,” with the ability to stop – or not – after any particular step. Some of those steps in turn involve automated layout steps, and one of the key reasons for stopping might be to check what the tool did with either the placement or routing.
While an equivalent digital tool provides a take-it-or-leave-it result, allowing only indirect influence through constraints and design rules, the Pulsic tools allow direct intervention – manually tweaking the results – as well as indirect influence.
Much detail on the tools and what they do is available in their release.