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Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena is a freelance journalist and Editor of EDA Confidential at She can be reached at peggy at aycinena dot com.

Mixed-signal Design: a new how-to guide from CDNS

August 15th, 2012 by Peggy Aycinena

This week, Cadence announced availability of the 400-page Mixed-Signal Methodology Guide written by Jess Chen, Michael Henrie, Monte Mar, Mladen Nizic, et al, edited by EDA DesignLine’s Brian Baily.

Cadence says the book is targeted at both chip designers and CAD engineers, and “focuses on current and future advanced mixed-signal design challenges and solutions.” The company also says the book is “critically acclaimed and much anticipated,” which is a little confusing; if the book is much anticipated, how could it already be critically acclaimed?

Nonetheless, the availability of the book on – an on-demand self-publishing website – makes the text easy to purchase and reasonably priced: $69.00, marked down from $115 if you buy it by August 31st. The question is not one of price, however, but of usefulness: Where else are you going to get information on mixed-signal design if you want to get it out of a book?

If you go to Amazon, for instance, what can you find? Below is a small sampling of what’s currently available. Sorry for the tedious assignment, but if you scan through the contents of each book you’ll see there’s quite a bit of overlap, and there’s also quite a bit of differentiation. Looking at the first 4 selections on the list, and then comparing them to the 2012 Cadence publication, you may actually conclude that this new book by Chen et al is indeed bringing something very useful to the discussion of mixed-signal design, albeit with a focus on Cadence tools.


December 2006 …

ASIC Design in the Silicon Sandbox:
A Complete Guide to Building Mixed-Signal Integrated Circuits

by Keith Barr
400+ pages
Publisher: McGraw Hill

$70.03 hardcover new
$41.49 hardcover used
$66.52 Kindle edition


Chapter 1: The Sandbox
Chapter 2: Fabs and Processes
Chapter 3: Economics
Chapter 4: Design Tools
Chapter 5: Standard Cell Design
Chapter 6: Peripheral Circuits
Chapter 7: Specialty Logic Structures and Memory
Chapter 8: Logic, Binary Mathematics, and Processing
Chapter 9: Analog Circuit Introduction and Amplifiers
Chapter 10: The Bandgap Reference
Chapter 11: Oscillators, Phase Locked Loops, and RF Introduction
Chapter 12: Converters and Switched Capacitor Techniques
Chapter 13: Packaging and Testing
Chapter 14: Odds and Ends

Per the blurb on Amazon:

Discover How to Design, Build, and Optimize Customized Mixed-Signal Integrated Circuits for a Wide Variety of Uses Both inspirational and practical, ASIC Design in the Silicon Sandbox offers electronics engineers a hands-on guide to mixed-signal circuits and layouts. The book provides a detailed roadmap for designing and building custom circuits that are optimized for target devices, providing enhanced functionality and lowered cost in finished products.

Written by circuit design expert Keith Elliott Barr, this complete resource covers everything from design and optimization methods to standard cell layouts to packaging and testing. Readers will find easy-to-apply information on peripheral circuits; specialty logic structures and memory; logic, binary mathematics, and processing; converters and switched-capacitor techniques; and much more. Filled with hundreds of helpful illustrations.


December 2008 …

CMOS: Mixed-Signal Circuit Design 2nd Edition

by R. Jacob Baker
350+ pages
Publisher: IEEE Press

$81.60 hardcover new
$68.00 hardcover used
$77.52 Kindle edition


Chapter 1: Signals, Filters, and Tools
Chapter 2: Sampling and Aliasing
Chapter 3: Analog Filters
Chapter 4: Digital Filters
Chapter 5: Data Converter SNR
Chapter 6: Data Converter Design Basics
Chapter 7: Noise-Shaping Data Converters
Chapter 8: Bandpass Data Converters
Chapter 9: A High-Speed Data Converter

Per the blurb on Amazon:

Analog signal processing circuit blocks implemented in mixed-signal systems utilize more digital signal processing where the quality of the analog components can be reduced at the cost of digital system complexity. Discussing these design techniques from a circuit designer’s point of view, CMOS is an advanced guide to mixed-signal circuit design that will bring designers rapidly up to speed. This new edition features additional examples and more, smaller chapters to make the information more accessible to graduate students as well as professionals who want to improve their skills in this area.


December 2010 …

Introduction to Mixed-Signal, Embedded Design

by Alex Doboli, Edward Currie
450+ pages
Publisher: Springer

$74.95 hardcover new
$69.25 hardcover used
$59.96 Kindle edition


Chapter 1: An Overview of Mixed-Signal, Embedded System Design
Chapter 2: Micro-controller Architecture
Chapter 3: Hardware and Software Subsystems of Mixed0Signal Architectures
Chapter 4: Performance Improvement by Customization
Chapter 5: Programmable Data Communication Blocks
Chapter 6: Continutous-Time, Analog Building Blocks
Chapter 7: Switched-Capacitor Blocks
Chapter 8: Analog and digital Filters
Chapter 9: Analog-to-Digital Converters
Chapter 10: Future Directions in Mixed-Signal Design automation

Per the blurb on Amazon:

This textbook is written for junior/senior undergraduate and first-year graduate students in the electrical and computer engineering departments. Using SoC mixed-signal array design, the authors define the characteristics of embedded design, embedded mixed-signal architectures, and top-down design.  Optimized implementations of these designs are included to illustrate the theory.  Exercises are provided at the end of each chapter for practice.

Topics covered include the hardware and software used to implement analog and digital interfaces, various filter structures, amplifiers and other signal-conditioning circuits, pulse-width modulators, timers, and data structures for handling multiple similar peripheral devices. The practical exercises contained in the companion laboratory manual, which was co-authored by Cypress Staff Applications Engineer Dave Van Ess, are also based on PSoC.  PSoC’s integrated micro-controller, highly configurable analog/digital peripherals, and a full set of development tools make it an ideal learning tool for developing mixed-signal embedded design skills.


December 2011 …

Analog Integrated Circuit Design 2nd Edition

by Tony Chan Carusone
794 pages
Publisher: Wiley Desktop Editions

$135.99 hardcover new
$130.02 hardcover used
$86.13 paperback
$112.50 Kindle edition
$61.96 rent


Chapter 1: Integrated Circuit Devices and Modeling
Chapter2:  Processing and Layout
Chapter 3: Basic Current Mirrors and Single-Stage Amplifiers
Chapter 4: Noise Analysis and Modeling
Chapter 5: Basic OpAmp Design and Compensation
Chapter 6: Advanced Current Mirrors and OpAmps
Chapter 7: Comparators
Chapter 8: Sample and Holds, Voltage References, and Translinear Circuits
Chapter 9: Discrete-Time Signals
Chapter 10: Switched-Capacitor Circuits
Chapter 11: Data Converter Fundamentals
Chapter 12: Nyquist-Rate D/A Converters
Chapter 13: Nyquist-Rate A/D Converters
Chapter 14: Oversampling converters
Chapter 15: Continuous-time Filters
Chapter 16: Phase-Locked Loops

Per the blurb on Amazon:

The 2nd Edition of Analog Integrated Circuit Design focuses on more coverage about several types of circuits that have increased in importance in the past decade. Furthermore, the text is enhanced with material on CMOS IC device modeling, updated processing layout and expanded coverage to reflect technical innovations. CMOS devices and circuits have more influence in this edition as well as a reduced amount of text on BiCMOS and bipolar information. New chapters include topics on frequency response of analog ICs and basic theory of feedback amplifiers.


August 2012 …

Mixed-Signal Methodology Guide:
Advanced Methodology for AMS IP and SoC Design, Verification, and Implementation

by Jess Chen, Michael Henrie, Monte Mar, Mladen Nizic, et al
edited by Brian Baily
400 pages
Publisher: Cadence Design Systems


Chapter 1: Mixed-Signal Design Trends & Challenges [Read it here on SOCCentral]
Chapter 2: Overview of Mixed-Signal Design Methodologies
Chapter 3: AMS Behavioral Modeling
Chapter 4: Mixed-Signal Verification Methodology
Chapter 5: A Practical Methodology for Verifying RF Designs
Chapter 6: Event-Driven Time-Domain Behavioral Modeling of Phase-Locked Loops
Chapter 7: Verifying Digitally-Assisted Analog Designs
Chapter 8: Mixed-Signal Physical Implementation Methodology
Chapter 9: Electrically-Aware Design Methodologies for Advanced Process Nodes
Chapter 10: IC Package Co-Design for Mixed-Signal Systems
Chapter 11: Data Management for Mixed-Signal Designs

Per the blurb on Lulu:

This book, the Mixed-signal Methodology Guide: Advanced Methodology for AMS IP and SoC Design, Verification, and Implementation provides a broad overview of the design, verification and implementation methodologies required for today’s mixed-signal designs. The book covers mixed-signal design trends and challenges, abstraction of analog function using behavioral models, assertion-based metric-driven verification methodology and verification of low power intent in mixed-signal designs. It also describes methodology for physical implementation in context of concurrent mixed-signal design and for handling advanced node physical effects.

The book contains many practical examples of models and techniques. The authors believe it should serve as a reference to many analog, digital and mixed-signal designers, verification, physical implementation engineers and managers in their pursuit of information for a better methodology required to address the challenges of modern mixed-signal designs.


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