CAD Tools

Most of the software tools used at the IMSE-CNM are design tools which cover several stages of the integrated circuit design process, from automatic HDL-based synthesis to the completion of full-custom layouts. As a member of the European consortium EUROPRACTICE, IMSE-CNM holds many of the licenses required by these design tools. The CAD software tool library at IMSE-CNM also includes in-house CAD tools and free-distribution tools from universities and other research centers.

CAD Manager

Dolores Vázquez Boza >

Commercial Tools

Cadence Design Framework II
Analog and digital semi/full-custom design
Cadence provides a complete integrated circuit environment allowing both analog design flows (schematic capture, electrical simulation, layout editing, design rule checking, parasitic extraction, LVS verification, etc.) and digital flows (functional description, automatic synthesis, logic simulation, automatic place & route, etc.). The environment also includes tools and languages for describing and simulating mixed analog-digital designs (AHDL, hierarchy editor, etc.).
Mentor Graphics
Analog and digital semi/full-custom design
Mentor Graphics provides a complete integrated circuit environment allowing full digital design flow (functional description, automatic synthesis, logic simulation). This tool also covers semi-custom and full-custom layout design.
Simulation and VHDL synthesis
Synopsys provides a series of HDL simulation and synthesis tools (VHDL and Verilog) for designs in both ASIC and FPGA technologies. The current distribution of this tool includes also packages for high-level synthesis, low-power synthesis, design for testability, test files and test vector generation, formal verification, temporal analysis and the use and development of IP modules.
FPGAs development
Xilinx provides different tools for FPGA system design: Integrated Software Environment (ISE), a basic set of tools that facilitates the description, synthesis, implementation and verification of designs created on Xilinx CPLDs and FPGAs; Embedded Development Kit (EDK) for programmable embedded system design; ChipScope Pro, which makes it possible to display all the signals and internal nodes of an FPGA; and System Generator for DSP, for developing digital signal processing systems on FPGAs.
Electrical simulator for mixed-signal designs
Among other utilities, this includes: SaberHDL, a tool for simulating complex mixed-signal systems or technologies; SaberDesigner, for creating and editing designs, controlling simulations interactively and displaying and analyzing waveforms; SaberGuide, for behavioral simulation; SaberSketch, a graphical user interface; MAST, a mixed-signal hardware description language.
Electrical simulator
The standard tool for simulating circuits at electrical level, this simulator makes it possible to incorporate certified device models from leading MOS device manufacturers. Featuring latest-generation simulation and analysis algorithms, it has become one of the most reliable and best known industrial circuit simulators.
Agilent Advanced Design System
Design tool for high frequency design
The Advanced Design System (ADS) is an electronic design automation tool for RF, microwave and signal integrity applications. It uses cutting edge technologies such as 3D EM and X-parameter simulators. This tool is used by leading developers of wireless applications for communications and networks, and also by leading aerospace and defense technology companies. In one single integrated platform ADS provides design and verification standards, with wireless design libraries and EM circuit-system co-simulation, for WiMAX, LTE, multi-gigabit links and radar and satellite communications applications.
High-level technical computing language and interactive prototype design and development. Dynamic and embedded multi-domain simulation environment
MATLAB is a high-level technical computing language and an interactive platform for algorithm design, numerical computation and data analysis and visualization. Simulink is a tool for multi-domain simulation and design based on dynamic and embedded system models.

In-house CAD tools

Design of fuzzy-inference systems
Xfuzzy, the design environment for fuzzy systems, includes a set of tools that help with the design of fuzzy-logic inference-based systems, from initial description right through to final implementation. Based on the XFL specification language, Xfuzzy has tools for describing, verifying and synthesizing fuzzy systems (both software and hardware). It also features tools which allow the easy editing of package operators and hierarchical structures, tools for generating 2-D and 3-D data graphics and tools for monitoring inference processes.


Circuit optimization using simulated annealing techniques
Fridge is an analog circuit optimization tool with many innovative features. It was developed to streamline the process of designing integrated circuits. Fridge is used to size analog circuits automatically according to design requirements. The optimization process takes place in two stages: in the first, statistical optimization techniques are applied, while deterministic techniques are applied in the second. Computational costs are drastically reduced by correctly formulating the cost function (where the designer's requirements are established) and adjusting the movement generator to match the nature of the analog sizing problem. All this can be done thanks to Fridge's innovative features, which include: preliminary exploration of the design space using a coarse grid to determine the best regions for further exploration, adaptive control of the temperature in the simulated annealing statistical techniques, synchronization of movement amplitude in parameter space with the temperature, etc.
SIMulink-based SIgma-DElta Simulator
Simsides is a time-domain behavioral simulator for ΣΔMs that was developed as a toolbox in the MATLAB/SIMULINK environment. Simsides can be used for simulating any arbitrary ΣΔM architecture implemented with discrete-time (DT) or continuous-time (CT) circuit techniques.