Analysis tool tackles noise in analog and RF circuits

Berkeley Design Automation (BDA) has released a noise analysis tool targeting complex analog and RF circuits. Called the Noise Analysis Option, the tool handles every type of complex analog and RF circuit, including all analog-to-digital converters (ADCs), phase-locked loops (PLLs), DC DC converters, frequency synthesisers, and voltage-controlled oscillators (VCOs). Features include transient-noise analysis, periodic noise (pnoise) analysis and oscillator phase noise (oscnoise) analysis.

The tool performs transistor-level analysis of the impact of device noise, including analysis of the impact of white and flicker noise, a challenge that BDA says is 'insidious to GHz nanometer-scale analog and RF CMOS circuit performance'. Until now, design teams have relied on hand calculations, system level models, or costly silicon measurements.

“Device-noise-related issues have a critical impact on the design of our high-performance nanometer analog/RF and mixed-signal circuits,” said Osamu Kobayashi, Director Mixed-Signal LSI Lab, System LSI Development Laboratories, Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. “The Noise Analysis Option gives us true SPICE accurate ADC and PLL noise analysis formidably faster than traditional SPICE transient simulations that do not even include device noise on Fujitsu Laboratories circuits.”

The Noise Analysis Option is compatible with existing BDA technology, notably Analog FastSPICE circuit simulation and the RF FastSPICE periodic analyser. It also reads standard Cadence Spectre and Synopsys HSPICE netlists and models, and is integrated into Cadence Virtuoso Analog Design Environment and can operate from a command line.

Amongst the customers already using the Noise Analysis Option is UK based biomedical soc developer Toumaz Technology. Said Toumaz' wireless IC design lead, Alan Wong: “We have significant challenges getting accurate noise analysis results with traditional RF analysis tools. Noise Analysis Option allows us to quickly analyse our oscillator and periodic blocks giving typically 5 times speedup for no loss in accuracy, when compared to our existing methods.”

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