December 13, 2010
Lynguent Part II
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Introduction to Lynguent Part II
The initial EDA Weekly article on
Lynguent, Inc. appeared in
EDAcafe.com on Monday November 15, 2010, and it has appeared every day since. You may refer to
Lynguent Part I at the following URL:
During the initial interview with Lynguent representatives on September 10, 2010 at the Claremont Resort & Spa, it became clear to this writer that one installment of EDA Weekly would prove insufficient to adequately describe even the minimum attributes of this Portland, OR privately-held EDA entity.
Lynguent Part I was devoted to briefly introducing the new CEO
Sam Young and the founder and current CTO
Martin Vlach, and to hinting at
Lynguent’s specialty & raison d’être: To tackle one of the most difficult and ongoing problems in EDA -- dealing successfully with analog and analog mixed signal (AMS) systems, which are often subsystems of a companion digital systems product. As mentioned, “dealing successfully” this time around meant reaching a goal of a 10 to 1 improvement or more, compared to trying to write an analog model or AMS model purely with an HDL. The market opportunity for this nine year old company was also outlined.
This December 13, 2010 issue of EDA WEEKLY will first expand on the
technical approach that Lynguent has taken in its software products to address the challenges of analog and analog mixed systems (AMS). We will name this portion
Lynguent Part II Section One.
Secondly, we will provide
more details on the backgrounds of several key Lynguent cognoscenti. We will cleverly name this second portion
Lynguent Part II Section Two.
Lynguent Part II Section One:
Picking up on the introductory dialogue in the
Lynguent Part I posting of November 15, 2010, it bears repeating what we had learned about the Technical Specialty of Lynguent at the Claremont luncheon: Starting in 2004, Dr. Martin Vlach and his Lynguent team had decided to tackle one of the most difficult and ongoing problems in EDA -- dealing successfully with analog and analog mixed signal (AMS) systems, which are often subsystems of a companion digital systems product. As mentioned, “dealing successfully” this time around meant reaching a goal of a 10 to 1 improvement or more, compared to trying to write the analog model or AMS model purely with an HDL.
That was when the writer asked Dr. Vlach,
“Please walk us through the first few years of Lynguent activity from 2004 on.”
Martin had continued as follows: Lynguent began with the premise that the design and verification of 100% digital semiconductor chips was and is already well supported in the marketplace by the use of models written in either
Verilog® (C) or
VHDL (D). There are also good tools available that
convert a model used at one stage of the digital design to a new model to be used at the next stage. Examples of such tools are high level synthesis, Register Transfer Level (RTL) synthesis, and physical synthesis tools.
Note: Capital letters in parentheses and numbers in brackets refer to Definitions and Footnotes, respectively, included at the conclusion of this month’s EDA WEEKLY.
Verification is mostly done by applying suitable test vectors to digital models, although in some situations
FastSPICE (E) simulations may be done. A single simulation using all-digital models is reasonably fast, so the time to complete verification is largely dependent on the number of test vectors. So purely digital design and verification is already a well-served market.
Conversely, analog and mixed-signal (AMS) chips are still much more difficult to design and verify, and no general methodology seems to have become available (until Lynguent).
The main reasons were and are:
So the creation of suitable AMS models remained a major bottleneck in an AMS design. Such models are also needed in various forms (usually at different levels of abstraction) throughout the design phase and also to speed up verification. Additionally, meaningful verification requires an ability to tune the behavior of a model to match that of the transistor design.
By providing unique products that breakthrough this bottleneck, Lynguent can enjoy an enviable position in its market niche.
The above was a review of the background dialogue contained in
Lynguent Part I. We now proceed to new technical details.
AMS models have traditionally been written directly in the HDL using a text editor. Each model is a programming project, and the only tool available for this task has been the text editor. Although some advanced editors offer syntax directed editing for HDL’s, several difficulties remain:
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-- Russ Henke, EDACafe.com Contributing Editor.
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