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Pulsic to Introduce Place and Route Implementation Solution for Analog and Custom Digital Design at DAC 2012

SAN JOSE, CALIF., May 22, 2012 — Following up on the Pulsic Planning Solution™ products introduced last year at DAC, Pulsic, the premier provider of physical design tools for precision design automation, will introduce a place-and-route implementation solution at DAC 2012 in San Francisco. The Pulsic Implementation Solution™ builds on the work of the planning tools, providing designers with easy-to-use, guided flows to automatically implement precise, hand-crafted quality design layouts with the highest routing completion and accuracy on the market..

The products of the Pulsic Implementation Solution — Unity™ Analog Router, Unity™ Custom Digital Router, and Unity™ Custom Digital Placer – provide automation where needed to deliver high-quality, precise results. Designers have found that digital automation tools cannot deal with all the issues associated with custom digital design, resulting in problems with cost, complexity and lack of quality results. Based on Pulsic’s innovative and well-established Unity™ technology, Pulsic Implementation Solution tools tackle the labor-intensive analog and custom design processes by providing a guided, automated flow to introduce efficiency, flexibility and speed.

Analog and custom digital designs continue to grow in size and complexity, targeting smaller process geometries with an ever-increasing number of associated process design rules and constraints. These pressures on the labor-intensive design process are accompanied by tighter time-to-market windows and an uncompromising need for quality of results.

At the same time, optimal place-and-route results for analog and custom digital are dependent on each designer’s skill and experience doing manual design or working around limitations in tools not designed for custom digital. Since the results from existing place-and-route solutions are usually inferior to those that an experienced designer can produce manually, the pressure on designers’ expertise has mandated a variety of manual approaches. Yet manual approaches cannot scale for large, complex designs and still meet the needed time and quality goals.

“As our customers ran into the bottlenecks caused by increases in the size and complexity of the analog and custom digital portions of their designs, we realized that throwing more bodies at the problem, or using tools not designed for custom digital place-and-route, was not delivering the quality of results they needed. We had to develop a more precise set of tools to help them achieve top quality at the best possible cost,” said Mark Williams, founder and CEO of Pulsic. “Unity technology has been in use by leading design companies worldwide for over 12 years. Based on Unity technology, the Pulsic Planning Solution and the Pulsic Implementation Solution deliver the quality and precision that customers need while improving productivity and speed.” 

The Pulsic Implementation Solution

Unity Analog Router provides layout designers with an intuitive, easy-to use guided flow that enables them to complete routing very quickly, using a style that mimics a manual transistor layout approach. Only Unity Analog Router incorporates analog-specific features that address the unique needs of analog routing. Results are equivalent to hand-crafted results, with 100% routing completion that is design rule check/ layout vs. schematic (DRC/LVS) correct.

Features include:

  • Constraint-driven, shape-based routing technology based on over 200 man years of experience in analog routing focused into a new, guided flow that addresses the specific needs of analog routing.
  • Proprietary geometry recognition algorithms that use the topology of transistors and resistors, including relevant groupings, to complete routing, so that minimal constraint set-up and tool knowledge is required.
  • Support for analog-specific routing functions, such as mirrors, symmetry, common centroid and current density requirements.
  • Designer-selected level of automation required to complete routing. Automation can be automatic or interactive.
  • Online DRC feature checks and corrects any DRC violations.
  • Support for native OpenAcess format or built-in DFII/cdba interface with Cadence.

For additional information, please see the Unity Analog Router.

Unity Custom Digital Router is the only complete solution for precision routing of custom digital design. Comprised of a tightly integrated suite of shape-based routing technologies, Unity Custom Digital Router encompasses hundreds of specialized utilities that work together simply and seamlessly on the same shape-based data model to give custom digital design teams precise, handcrafted quality results with automated speed. The Unity Custom Digital Router model has been engineered to work with the latest complex process rules (28nm and below) and makes efficient use of available area, even for areas with extreme aspect ratios or highly congested areas. By automating advanced custom routing functions, Unity Custom Digital Router delivers greater productivity. Guided flows and thematic GUI enable fast adoption and ease of use.

Features include:

  • Advanced process node design rule support, including width- and parallel-length-based spacing rules, via enclosures, stacked vias, min width, min step, dense line rules, and more.
  • Inter-block routing flow.
  • Standard cell/custom digital routing flow.
  • Extreme aspect ratio routing flow:
    • Patented spine-and-stitch capability for optimal performance results.
    • Routing for highly congested areas that require minimal use of routing area.
  • Easy-to-use, intuitive guided flow and thematic GUI.
  • Extensive array of enhanced post-routing features for design for manufacturing (DFM), design for yield (DFY) and other process enhancements.
  • Built-in utilities for, auto abstraction, and extraction.
  • Extremely comprehensive rules and constraints system for user control of routing topologies, optimum widths and spacings, redundant vias, current density rules.
  • Full online design rule checking (DRC) for all automatic and interactive routing tools.
  • Python interface and C++ API, which enables advanced users to manipulate and edit at the database level.
  • Interface to industry standard interfaces and library formats, including LEF/DEF, Open Access, DFII/cdba, Verilog, and Spice.

For additional information, please see the Unity Custom Digital Router.

Unity Custom Digital Placer overcomes the time-consuming problem of placing digital designs manually in a layout editor by combining placement technologies that enable automatic creation of hand-crafted, precise results. Based on the familiar row-based placement concept, Unity Custom Digital Placer includes a comprehensive and easy-to-use cell-alignment capability that enables placement of non-standard cells while conforming to design rules and constraints. Hierarchical clustering technology ensures strict pseudo-hierarchical placement topologies, which enables optimization of routing resources and ensures that routing estimates used in simulation-driven flows remain relevant throughout layout. Pre-route-aware placement optimizes the placement for pre-routed critical signals in top-down methodologies.

The Unity Custom Digital Placer includes step-by-step guided placement flows with a graphical user interface (GUI) showing each step and progress through the flow. The guided flow informs designers of their progress through the flow and the pre-requisites for each step. If the designer wants to leave the tool and return at a later time, the guided flow keeps track of the steps already completed.

Features include:

  • Row-based placement technologies.
  • Multi-height cell alignment.
  • Custom-cell placement of over-height, under-height and multi-height cells.
  • Standard cell placement in custom designs.
  • Hierarchical clustering.
  • Strict physical grouping defined by the circuit hierarchy.
  • Clustering of cells within sub-circuit, and of sub-circuit cell groupings.
  • Proximity control: cells and clusters of cells can be placed in close proximity based upon net constraints.
  • Pre-route-aware placement: pre-planned critical signals drive the placement of cells.
  • Easy-to-use, intuitive guided flow and thematic GUI.

For additional information, please see the Unity Custom Digital Placer.

To register for a demonstration of any of the products of the Pulsic Implementation or Planning Solution at DAC 2012, please visit 2012 takes place from June 3-7, 2012, in Moscone Center, San Francisco, California. 

About Pulsic

Pulsic is an electronic design automation (EDA) company offering production-proven floorplanning, placement and routing software solutions for extreme design challenges at advanced nodes. Leading companies use Pulsic’s physical design software to improve their design productivity by automating the layout of peripheral and control logic. Complementary to existing design flows, standards, and databases, Pulsic technology delivers handcrafted quality, faster than manual design or general-purpose software solutions. Pulsic has delivered successful tapeouts for IDMs and fabless customers in the memory, FPGA, custom digital, LCD, imaging, and AMS markets worldwide. For more information please visit

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