Addressing the Layout Challenges of Increasing Analog Content in SoCs
The growing complexity and functionality of SoC designs is increasing the quantity of analog blocks on SoC chips. End user applications, including video cell phones, MP3 music devices and more complex wire-less devices such as web browsers and PDAs are demanding broader functionality on single devices. This demand for increasingly diverse capabilities on a single device, combined with the drive for longer battery life, lower power consumption and smaller sizes has driven the development of mixed-signal devices on a single chip. By 2006 it is estimated that 75% of all SoC designs will contain some analog blocks. This demand is forcing design teams, both digital and analog, to incorporate foreign blocks into their design. The methodology for planning, implementing and assembling digital blocks is well-defined and understood. In cases where the digital component comprises the majority of the design, analog blocks are generally included as abstractions and handled as black boxes, isolated from the rest of the layout. For analog design teams the problem is much more complex, as both the analog and small digital blocks are often implemented in the design. Analog design teams generally do not create abstractions of analog blocks and move them into a digital design environment.
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