Creating a custom IC or analog/mixed-signal design environment is a very time-and resource-consuming initiative, yet design teams are constantly facing mounting pressure to shorten time-to-market. Acquiring all the necessary simulation models and rule files from the foundry and integrating them into the development environment can take man-months and significantly lengthen a development project. A significant amount of the work involves ensuring consistency among the models and rule files to reduce risk of design failure, and most of this work must be complete before the design process can begin. To help companies jump start their design cycles and cut time-to-market, Mentor Graphics and its foundry partners have developed IC design kits, which include all the foundry-specific data files and models for use with the Mentor Graphics front and back end IC design tools. Available for no charge from major foundries, these kits enable the entire design workflow to be supported! by foundry-specific processes. The design kits contain customizable, easily expandable building blocks for schematic capture, simulation, physical layout, and verification, which creates a complete, integrated IC design environment tailored to the foundry process technology to be used for the design.

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