Cadence Academic Network

In our research and development of integrated circuits and teaching we make use of Cadence Design Tools. Our department is a member of the Cadence Academic Network, which intends to increase the exchange between the institutes of different universities in Europe.

Teaching

Our Department offers different lectures and projects about microelectronics.

The lecture Integrated Circuits gives students the fundamental understanding of analog circuits and transistor behavior, practical exercises comprising Spice simulations help students to consolidate the theory and get in contact to basic design techniques.

The first contact of students with the Cadence Design Environment takes place in the Schwerpunktlabor Mikroelektronik, where students start with an undimensioned operational amplifier and run through the design process of sizing, schematic entry, simulations and layout. We recently adapted the contents of this laboratory to involve some features of Layout XL and will proceed to include other features like optimization and extraction of parasitics.

Additionally, our students get the chance to participate in the Project Chipdesign, which is currently restricted to digital implementations, for example algorithms for communications techniques, which is our main area of interest. While the recent groups focused on FPGA implementations we like to move to CMOS in the future.

Finally, students might use their knowledge to finish their study with a “Studienarbeit” and a diploma/master thesis doing a specific design work.

Methodology Kit

As a member of the Cadence Academic Network we purchased professional Cadence Training Materials which we are now using to improve the skills of our scientific staff. With the “Methodology Kit” we have access to a Mixed-Signal reference flow including an example design, an example PDK as well as all the documentation to handle most of the challenges on the way to a modern Chip.

Own EDA Tools/ Cadence Gadgets

  • MODOS: Our design optimization tool, including different optimization algorithms, written in C and TCL/Tk, allows connection to different simulators as for example Cadence Spectre.
  • Simvision2Latex: Converting Simvision digital waveforms to nicely looking LaTeX Diagrams for documentation.
  • ncsim spreadsheet simulation: Breakpoint-based method for verification on blocklevel without a HDL-Testbench and a comfortable way to set stimuli in the design hierarchy without compilation