Tutorial 1

Benjamin Prautsch

Design Meets EDA:
Gaps and Countermeasures in Analog/Mixed-Signal IC Design

Prautsch, Benjamin (Fraunhofer IIS/EAS, Dresden, Germany)
Wittmann, Reimund (IMST GmbH, Kamp-Lintfort, Germany)
Schenkel, Frank (MunEDA GmbH, Unterhaching, Germany)
Koelsch, Johannes; Grimm, Christoph (TU Kaiserslautern, Kaiserslautern, Germany)
Strube, Gunter (Blu Business Development, Gröbenzell, Germany)

Along the path from specification to silicon, the design of analog/mixed-signal chips comprises a variety of challenges. They are of technological, methodological, organizational, communicational, and business nature. Additionally, large gaps are to be managed among the individual challenges. Still up to now, approaches such as the “four eye principle” are used even in industrial practice in order to handle them. However, steadily increasing system complexity makes this an end-of-range model. Instead, EDA support gets more and more relevant in order to tackle both problem-specific and overarching design challenges. Based on the well-known V-model, the tutorial will discuss the current design approach and discusses systematic alternatives comprising EDA, tools, tool interfaces, and usability aspects. With this, the design challenges can be tackled in order to stick with the market needs and tight design schedules.

Benjamin Prautsch received the Diploma degree in electrical engineering from the Dresden University of Technology in 2013 and is with Fraunhofer IIS/EAS since then. His interests are generator-based analog design automation as well as efficient and robust analog design flows. Since 2018 he is heading the group Advanced Mixed-Signal Automation and is responsible for generator-based analog design automation, design efficiency, and reuse methods. In this function, he has been developing these topics in various national and European projects (e.g. things2do, PRIME, Productive4.0, and currently AnastASICA) and he was involved in industrial design projects.

Tutorial 2

Lotte Geck

Quantum Computing: A Circuit Perspective

Lotte Geck
Forschungszentrum Jülich
Central Institute of Engineering, Electronics and Analytics (ZEA)
Electronic Systems (ZEA-2), Nano- und Microelectronic Systems

Quantum computing is an up and coming topic with a lot of attention not only from the scientific community but also increasing interest from industry. First, this talk introduces the topic from an electrical engineering point of view and explains why the possible use cases of a quantum computer make it so popular.

The underlying goal of the tutorial is to explain the two main types of circuits associated with a quantum computer, quantum circuits and specific (classical) circuits. For that the basic processing unit of a quantum computer, the so called qubit, is introduced first. With the qubits understood, quantum circuits can be addressed next. Here, the focus will be especially on understanding how such a circuit is similar or different to a classical circuit. Besides quantum circuits also a lot of classical electronics are necessary to realize a quantum computer. This talk will give an overview of the different kinds of classical electronics in a quantum computer and what circuit architectures are used in varying potential quantum computer implementations.

Lotte Geck received a M. Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from the RWTH Aachen University in 2015. Afterwards she joined the Electronic Systems Institute (ZEA-2) of Forschungszentrum Jülich to pursue a PhD. Focusing on scalable control electronics for gallium-arsenide based quantum computers lead to new and interesting challenges for integrated circuits. The explorations of the quantum-classical interface also included a steep learning curve in quantum mechanics and a research stay at TU Delft further broadened the horizon. Currently Lotte is working at the ZEA-2 as a postdoc with a focus on modeling quantum processor systems.

Tutorial 3

Jonas Meier

Modelling Power Supply Noise in RF SoCs

Jonas Meier
Integrated Analog Circuits and RF Systems Laboratory
RWTH Aachen University

Todays integrated circuits (IC) incorporate more and more components to save area and increase reliability of the overall System on Chip (SoC). Yet the integration of analog, digital and RF systems on the same die suffers from various problems, one being the unwanted cross coupling, e.g. over power supply lines. Switching noise from digital circuits or high power ouput drivers propagate over the supply net to sensitive analog circuits and subsequently degrade their performance. Thus, these effects have to be taken into consideration early during the design and verification of mixed-signal ICs.

The simulation of an entire system such as an RF chip is not feasible on the transistor-level due to the very high computation effort that would be necessary. Event-driven simulation, widely used in digital circuit design, support the needed circuits sizes, but, even with the introduction of real number modeling, lack support for efficient description of analog or RF signal properties.

This presentation introduces a flexible framework, utilizing SystemVerilog user-defined data type (UDT) and net (UDN) in conjunction with the direct programming interface (DPI) to C++ to add the missing functionality. It is used to model a PLL testchip and investigate the influence of cross coupling through supply on the system performance.

Jonas Meier received the B.Sc. and M.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from RWTH Aachen University in 2013 and 2016, respectively, where he is currently working towards a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering at the Chair of Integrated Analog Circuits and RF Systems. His research topic focuses on the integration and design methodologies needed for digital-centric RF Systems. His current research interests include advanced modeling and verification methods at chip-level for mixed-signal and RF systems as well as advances in PLL and transceiver designs.

Tutorial 4

Abhishek S. Dahiya Dhayalan Shakthivel

High-Performance Flexible and Printed Electronics

Abhishek S. Dahiya, Dhayalan Shakthivel, Yogeenth Kumaresan and Ravinder Dahiya
Bendable Electronics & Sensing Technologies (BEST) Group,
James Watt School of Engineering, University of Glasgow

The Printed Electronics (PE) devices and circuits are advantageous due to their ability to conform over different shapes and curvy surfaces which is needed for the advancement of numerous emerging applications including wearable systems, soft robotics, e-skin, bendable displays, and healthcare monitoring systems. This will also have an impact on the development of Internet of Things (IoT) concept where smart objects are required to be aware of and interactive with the unstructured environment. Additionally, PE systems are expected to revolutionise future electronics industry by providing cost-effective routes for processing diverse electronic materials at temperatures that are compatible with plastic substrates. Along with the flexible form factor, applications including IoT, smart healthcare etc. demands high device performance (fast data processing) leading to myriad machine-to-machine and/or human-to-machine connectivity at 5G communications. Accordingly, significant research efforts are on-going to manufacture electronic devices/systems with flexible form factor and high-performance. In this regard, printing of nanoscale inorganic structures have opened new avenues to achieve performances at par with silicon-based electronics.

In the first part of this tutorial, participants will gain an overview of various synthesis routes to obtain sub-100 nm inorganic semiconducting nanoscale materials (Nanowires (NWs), Nanoribbon (NRs) etc.) using bottom-up and top-down approaches. This includes wide variety of physical and chemical techniques such as metal assisted chemical etching (MACE), chemical vapour deposition (CVD) etc. The second part of this tutorial will bring together various printing techniques to integrate and assembly of grown nanoscale materials over flexible substrates. Potential capabilities and critical limitations of each printing technology will be highlighted, and possible solutions or alternatives will be discussed. The tutorial will also present some recent examples of high performance printed and flexible devices including transistors, sensors etc. using inorganic nanoscale materials.

Abhishek S. Dahiya is a research associate at the BEST group in the School of Engineering at University of Glasgow. He has received his Ph.D. from the GREMAN laboratory, Université François Rabelais de Tours, France in 2016. He performed his postdoctoral work at the GREMAN laboratory (2016-2017), the University of Bordeaux (ICMCB/CNRS) (2018-2019), and at the IES CNRS/Université de Montpellier (2019-2020) in France. He has published 28 high-impact research articles in leading journals and 1 US patent. His research interest covers synthesis of energy nanomaterials, nanofabrication, energy harvesting, printed and flexible electronics, and semiconductor device physics.

Dr. Dhayalan Shakthivel is a Researcher and ICURe entrepreneurial lead at the James Watt School of Engineering, University of Glasgow (UoG), UK. He has earned Ph.D in Materials Science, 2014, from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. His research interests are growth and integration of semiconducting nanowires, kinetic studies of nanostructures growth, nanoscale crystal growth, Nano-pattering, electron microscopy, chemical vapour deposition (CVD) and nanowires based flexible electronics. He has developed kinetic models to probe key atomistic processes in the catalyst particle assisted growth of semiconducting NWs. His research works earned more than 35 publications in high impact journals, review articles, international conferences and 2 patents He has developed a non-chemistry specific automated CVD system for the growth of semiconducting nanostructures. His current research focused on semiconducting nanowires for flexible large area electronics towards the development of electronic-skin for robotics. He was a recipient of government of India-MHRD fellowship for Ph.D research. He received John Robertson Bequest award at the UoG.

Tutorial 5

Fadoua Gacim

On-Time RFIC Development with Fast EM Simulation and Integrated Design Flow

Fadoua Gacim, Anton Klotz,
Cadence Design Systems, Germany

In this tutorial, you’ll see the new integration of the Cadence® EMX® Planar 3D Solver into the Electromagnetic Solver Assistant of the Cadence Virtuoso® Layout Suite EXL and how to leverage it in the RFIC design flow, with a power amplifier (PA) design as example. You’ll learn how to perform fast and accurate EM analysis for selected passive components and nets in your design, while parasitic extraction for the rest of the design will be done in the Cadence Quantus™ Extraction Solution. Everything will be set up and driven from the Virtuoso Layout Suite EXL, keeping one golden schematic and one golden layout, without need of error-prone and time-consuming manual partitioning of the design into a block for parasitic extraction and a block for EM simulation. We will then demonstrate how to use the Cadence Spectre® X Simulator for post-layout simulation to predict accurate circuit performance.

Fadoua Gacim received a Ph.D degree from University of Caen-Normandie, France, in 2017 in collaboration with NXP semiconductors. She was in charge of modelling, characterization & optimization of substrate losses in IC design. She joined Cadence in 2018 and currently is Sr. Application engineer supporting Virtuoso-RF & Analog/mixed Signal Simulations.

Tutorial 6

Gerald Kell

Metastable states in ECL- and CML designs and their consideration by design of TDCs with picoseconds resolutions

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gerald Kell and Daniel Schulz
Technische Hochschule Brandenburg
FB Informatik und Medien

The appearance of metastable states in flipflops by violations of setup- and hold times is a well known matter. In TDC circuits one cannot prevent metastabilities. In consequence, structural methods in practical designs, e.g. redundancies and multiple paths are required. Its real and practical function depends on the duration time of the metastabilities. There are some reasons that this durations are significantly less in SiGe- based ECL- and CML- structures in comparison to CMOS cells. In resume, we have characterized a lot of flipflop cells in the Common_ECL library to quantify the relevant duration of the metastable states. In result, the assigned VHDL models will show where is a metastability located in the structural design. After the defined duration, the model will switch to a random generated ‘1‘ or ‘0‘ value. This modelling concept can be a helpful tool to design fast TDC structures.

Gerald Kell was born 1954 in Berlin. His scientific career began with study of Electronic Technology 1975 – 1979 at the Humboldt University in Berlin (HUB) with the graduation as Dipl.-Ing. for electronics. He was a Research Associate at HUB since 1979, degree with Doctoral thesis 1985: Analog-Digital-Conversion and Digital Signal Processing. His research at HUB continued with precision measurement projects in manned spacecraft (TES, TEGRA), short time measurements and opto-electronic systems. In 1996, he co-founded of the PicoQuant GmbH Berlin, an enterprise for opto-electronic research and development. He was appointment as Professor for Digital Systems at the Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences (THB) in 2000. Core areas in teaching and research are hardware design for data processing and computer architectures. Since 2005 design of ultra fast integrated circuits in SiGe- technology, leading projects for fast data processing, time-to-digital converters (TDC) and computer interfaces. From 2016 – 2019 he was THB’s vice president for research and technology transfer Since march 2020 he is professor emeritus.

Tutorial 7

Domenik Helms

Optimizing Neural Networks for Embedded Hardware

Domenik Helms(2), Karl Amende(3), Saqib Bukhari(4), Thies deGraaff(2), Alexander Frickenstein(1), Frank Hafner(4), Tobias Hirscher(3), Sven Mantowsky(4), Vijay Parsi(4), Manoj-Rohit Vemparala(1)

(1) BMW AG, Munich, Germany, (2) OFFIS e.V., Oldeburg, Germany, (3) Valeo, Kronach, Germany, (4) ZF Friedrichshafen AG, Saarbrücken, Germany

Neural networks are a pervasive technology, which is, however, still held back in the area of embedded systems by the high resource requirements, especially memory size, memory access time and power dissipation. In recent years, several different methods have been proposed to transform given neural networks in such a way that they can get by with much fewer resources while maintaining almost the same accuracy. This work reviews, categorizes and describes the state of the art in adapting and simplifying neural networks to make them better applicable to embedded systems. Even though we developed this study from a purely automotive context, the techniques described are also valid in other areas.

Domenik Helms works since 2001 in the area of embedded system’s design automation. After focusing on non-functional aspects like power consumption, leakage currents and technology ageing of general embedded systems, he is now working on electronic design automation methods for non-functional aspects of embedded AI applications. His recent research interest is on optimization and estimation techniques for neural networks.

Tutorial 8

Daniel Marolt

The Essential Role of Procedural Approaches in Electronic Design Automation

Dr.-Ing. Daniel Marolt, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jürgen Scheible
Electronics & Drives, Department Electronic Design Automation
Reutlingen University

Electronic design automation approaches can be roughly divided into optimization algorithms and procedural generators. While the former have enabled a highly automated synthesis flow for digital ICs, the latter play a vital yet underestimated role in the analog domain. This paper introduces both automation strategies in comparison, thereby revealing two fundamentally different automation paradigms known as top-down and bottom-up automation. Then, with a focus on the latter, the history of procedural approaches is traced from their early beginnings until today's evolvements and future prospects to underline their practical importance and accentuate their scientific value, both in itself and in the overall context of EDA.

Daniel Marolt was born in Reutlingen, Germany, in 1984. He studied mechatronics at Reutlingen University, where he received the B.Eng. degree in 2008 and the M.Sc. degree in 2009. Since then, he has been working as an academic employee at the Robert Bosch Center for Power Electronics (rbz), receiving the Dr.-Ing. degree from the University of Stuttgart in 2018. He then stayed at the rbz, which is now named Electronics & Drives (E&D), currently acting as a research team leader. His research interest is focused on electronic design automation for full-custom analog circuit and layout design.