SiSoft 2016.07 Release Highlights
Welcome to SiSoft's 2016.07 Release, a major release of SiSoft's Quantum-SI (QSI), Quantum Channel Designer (QCD), and SiViewer products.
Major new functionality in this release includes:
OptimEye replaces the "blind sweeps" of Tx settings traditionally used to find optimal settings with an automated process performed by the simulator to provide the best answer directly. This single simulation automatically adjusts Tx & Rx equalization settings in AMI models to maximize Rx eye height and then report the best Tx/Rx settings and design margin. OptimEye runs faster, reduces the chance for error and produces the best possible results. In short, it buys you time, sanity and design margin.
OptimEye uses unique co-optimization algorithms tailored for AMI analysis and built right into QCD's simulation engine. It uses information contained in special optimization control files (OCF file) to understand the capabilities of a particular Tx/Rx combination and predict what the best combination of settings will be. OptimEye then uses additional information in the OCF to simulate the Tx/Rx models with what it expects are the best Tx/Rx settings. If the actual simulation matches expected results, both the simulation results and Tx/Rx settings are reported. If the actual simulation results vary substantially from what OptimEye predicted, OptimEye updates its prediction and the process iterates until it converges.
In SiSoft's testing, OptimEye results are frequently better than results from other methods, and within millivolts of cases where extensive effort was put into creating an optimized result through other methods. Most importantly, OptimEye generates these results automatically, bypassing the extensive time and effort put into optimizing through blind sweep, design of experiment (DOE) and manual analysis methods.
STATify extends the previous "Time Domain Statistical Extrapolation" capabilities of QCD with a new capability that allows full Statistical simulations to be run with Getwave-Only models. This means that users can now run Statistical simulations with *any* IBIS-AMI models and view statistical eyes, equalized step, pulse and impulse responses, even when those IBIS-AMI models do not directly support Statistical simulations.
STATify also supports QCD's former "Time Domain Statistical Extrapolation" capabilities, which use ISI-based extrapolation to predict the likelihood of very low probability errors even when only a few million bits of behavior are simulated.
Data Mining (QCD/QSI/SiViewer)
QCD and QSI allow users to run thousands of simulations quickly, but sorting through the resulting data to identify trends and find the "needle in the haystack" can be a challenge. New sorting and filtering capabilities in SiViewer's results table greatly increase the level of visualization and trend analysis users can perform directly in SiViewer, without exporting data to other tools. Users can filter data using constraints in multiple columns and select "roll-up" treatments where multiple rows of data are aggregated using specific to data methods. Visibility and ordering of the many columns of data in SiViewer can now be quickly controlled from a new pop-up menu, making it easy to focus in on specific design behaviors and the conditions that cause them. This new ability is also rolled out to other tables throughout the UI including the Padstack/Trace Manager and Post-Layout interface.
Tabbed Routing Support (QSI/QCD)
State of the art high speed designs are leveraging tabbed routing techniques to shrink trace widths and increase routing densities while still managing trace impedance and crosstalk. QSI/QCD now supports tabbed-routing analysis in both pre-layout, what-if analysis and during Post-Layout PCB extraction. In Pre-Layout mode, QSI/QCD allows the user to both specify and sweep tab height, width and pitch to determine which geometry will work best in a given situation. For Post-Layout, QSI/QCD automatically extracts tab geometries to use with built-in enhanced trace models. These models have shown excellent correlation to measurement without the need for a separate 3D field solver which could take 50-500x longer to run.
New Table Driven Loss Model (QCD)
Tables of frequency-based material loss parameters can now be imported into QCD and used for both Pre- and Post-Layout simulations. The material loss properties can be associated with a trace-model in Pre-Layout analysis and individual/all stackup layers in Post-Layout analysis. The resulting trace models show excellent correlation to reference data.
Improved Post-Layout Flow (QSI/QCD)
The Post-Layout flow in both QSI and QCD has been improved to make the process substantially easier to use. The Padstack/Trace Manager now gives users complete control over their design with a single, table-based view showing all padstacks in the design and allows for entire classes of padstacks or single instances of vias/pins to be viewed and edited. The Back Drill Manager allows users to customize back drilling by net, part, reference designator or padstack, also allowing back drilling to be fine-tuned to specify the stub length for each layer. Via models have been improved to make them more accurate and to support pads on unconnected signal layers. Automated Post-Layout extraction now supports arcs and supports positive plane data in ODB++ databases.
Flow / Reporting Improvements (QCD)
These enhancements make QCD faster and easier to use, including:
- Storage control - vastly reduces the amount of data recorded for swept-parameter simulations, allowing them to run faster and use less disk space
- Crosstalk speedup - eliminates AMI processing for "non-reported" receivers in crosstalk simulations, allowing simulations to run faster
- Snapshot (intermediate results reporting) - lets users roll-up partial simulation results during long runs, to see how trends are progressing
- Automatic frequency settings - The simulation parameters Max Input Frequency, Max Output Frequency and S-Param Frequency Step can now all be set to "Auto", in which case the simulator picks the best settings based on the data being used
- Max eye height and offset reporting - A key, but often under-appreciated feature of AMI models is that they return both equalized waveform data *and* clock ticks, which allows eye height to be measured at the instant the sampling latch captures the signal (the only point at which the eye height actually matters). The location of the sampling clock is usually not at the highest point of the eye, and it's desirable to know what the maximum eye height is and how the clock should be shifted to get there - which QCD now reports.
- Default clocking mode switched from Normal to Clocked - It was more common for models to use Clocked mode for clocking rather than the historical default of Normal model (independent), so we changed the default. Note, this may affect eye reporting compared with previous releases.
Show Aligned Pulse Response (QCD)
Equalized pulse responses show how well a given equalization strategy cancels out channel impairments and provide a first-order estimate of what eye height at the receiver. SiViewer now includes a "Show Aligned Pulse Response" option that shifts equalized pulse responses in voltage and time so that maximum possible eye height and ISI effects can be measured directly off the waveform display.