Design Implementation

Custom Layout

Encore Semi has a broad custom layout capability that includes production tape-outs, IP block layout, mixed signal functions, RF layout, and library collaterals. Depending on the targeted device, we work with various technologies (CMOS, FinFET, BiCMOS, PD-SOI, FD-SOI) from 130 nm down to 7 nm. Our Layout Designers are mastering a portfolio of layout techniques such as device matching, shielding, impedance matching, noise reduction, isolation, and many more. They have expertise in highly complex IP blocks including High Speed SerDes (up to 112 Gbps), mixed signal and RF components like PA, LNA, VCO, PLL, ADC, DAC, filters and ESD circuits, as well as standard cell layout and I/O’s for library collateral.

Physical Design

Encore Semi’s physical design services are tool-agnostic. We typically work within and aligned to our customer’s CAD environment. Experience includes tools from Cadence, Synopsys, Mentor Graphics and more. Our involvement in state-of-the-art designs from the leading semiconductor companies gives us great exposure to advanced methodologies and flows for both low power designs and high performance designs. We master design flow automation to accelerate the design iterations, improve accuracy and assure on-time delivery. A lot of emphasis is put on optimizing floorplans to achieve best die size (PPA) under various constraints. Our physical design expertise spans across the entire RTL to GDSII task list, including timing analysis, power analysis, logic equivalency checking, signal integrity, OCV, DFM/DFT, LVS and DRC checks. The result is a manageable project with low risk and efficient physical implementation.

The expertise customers can rely on includes:

  • Logical and Physical Synthesis
  • Clock Tree Synthesis (H-Tree, partial H-Tree, custom mesh)
  • Timing Closure/(STA + SI)
  • Timing and Low Power Constraint (generation/validation of SDC, CPF/UPF, etc.)
  • Floorplan/Proto-tying (physical partitioning, critical route planning, and die estimation)
  • Power planning – (grid design and analysis)
  • Place & Route, (datapath/structured)
  • DRC/LVS check
  • Yield Improvements
  • Sign-off checklist

Encore Semi’s team is accumulating significant experience across the following domains:

  • Experience at chip, block and IP level
  • Low power design experience
  • Clock gating
  • Timing analysis and fixing
  • Voltage islands for power shut-off modes
  • Voltage domains for multi-supply
  • Dynamic Voltage Frequency Scaling (DVFS)
  • Leakage power optimization
  • Physical implementation of processor subsystems, structured logic and control logic
  • Experience with high speed interfaces & protocols (SerDes, PCIe, USB3, LPDDR4, etc.)
  • Layout driven synthesis
  • Nano-Partition techniques
  • Large SoC methodology and scripting
  • Safe A/D and D/A timing fixing
  • Experience with Complex SoC up to the reticle limit

DFx – DFT

As SOC designs are becoming more complex with an increasing number of embedded processors, integrated IP blocks, and special analog/mixed signal functions, as well as multiple power domains, there is a growing need for experienced engineers to attack Design for Test (DFT) at an early stage of the design cycle.

The Encore Semi Engineering organization is well positioned to assist with individual subject matter experts or a turn-key team-based solution. Using Encore Semi’s experience with a broad span of industry leading technologies, our DFT consultants have a great track record of success.

Our expertise covers the activities of:

  • DFT architecture/planning (MBIST, JTAG (IEEE 1149.1 and 1149.6), IP test (IEEE 1500), LBIST, analog macro integration
  • DFT implementation (RTL and Physical Implementation of Test Features; Verification of DFT functional correctness)
  • DFT post-silicon support (IC test program development/translation (TDL, STIL), debug on ATE – HP, Teradyne, Credence, etc. –, translation of functional/characterization patterns)

The DFT team masters multiple advanced techniques to assure testability, yield robustness and overall coverage:

  • Scan Insertion
  • ATPG Vector Generation
  • Test Compression techniques and tools
  • Stuck-AT, Transition, Path Delay, IDDQ test generation
  • Memory BIST
  • Logic BIST
  • JTAG Generation
  • RTL Level and gate-level simulation and verification
  • IEEE 1149.1, 1149.6 and 1687 implementations
  • Automotive Safety implementations (ISO 26262)

CAD and Design Enablement

A well-crafted Design Environment will increase productivity and produce more competitive products!

We support design implementation for a variety of IC process technologies, currently down to 7 nm FinFET, and our team is familiar with many of the Product Design Kits (PDKs) provided by the foundries companies, understanding their specific differences and particular ways of integrating within the CAD environment and the EDA tools.

Encore Semi has a large dedicated CAD, Design Flow, and Design Enablement team, which is contributing to a variety of services, projects and solutions for our customers. With an average experience of 10 – 20 years per engineer, our client projects are accomplished using the latest technology and special attention to details to be able to design & deliver custom design environments that can produce SoC or IP Designs with outstanding performance, power, and cost parameters.

In support of our design services, or as a stand-alone service, we have expert users of all common EDA environments, with the ability to customize, bundle or link tools from Cadence, Synopsys, Mentor Graphics, and others.

Some examples of tools used by the Encore Semi team are:

Cadence Based DSM Flow:

  • RTL Compiler
  • Innovus
  • Conformal
  • Tempus
  • Voltus
  • Quantus
  • Spectre
  • Virtuoso-XL
  •  Incisive
  • Palladium
  • Encounter Test
  • Modus Test Solution

Synopsys Based DSM Flow:

  • Design Compiler
  • ICC2
  • Formality
  • PrimeTime
  • StarRC
  • Hercules
  • VCS
  • ZeBu
  • TetraMax
  • DFT Compiler
  • DFT MAX

Mentor Based Flow:

  • Mentor Olympus for MMMC
  • Calibre for PV
  • Questa
  • Veloce
  • Tessent Suite

Design and Verification Languages:

  • VHDL
  • Verilog
  • SystemVerilog
  • UVM/OVM
  • CPF/UPF

As part of its portfolio of services, Encore Semi can provide support for specific Design Enablement services and solutions such as tool evaluation, tool benchmarking, flow automation, technology file generation, tool correlation, library expansion and many others. We work at all levels of the design process, from Architecture, RTL generation, RTL verification, custom layout, synthesis, timing, Physical Design, or Physical Verification.

Encore Semi has developed in-depth expertise that can be advantageously leveraged by our customers:

Specific CAD expertise:

  • Design Kit support for ASIC Standard Cell design
  • Physical Design flows from RTL to GDSII
  • Hierarchical Place & Route flows
  • AMS Design and Verification flows
  • Flow development for RF & High Speed SerDES design
  • Flow setup and pre-certification for Automotive Safety IC development
  • Sign-off Requirements, Checklists, and Acceptance Criteria

Specific Design Enablement expertise:

  • Standard Cell library development and characterization
  • LEF Generation
  • GDS Read/Write utilities
  • Correlation of timing and power analysis tools
  • Database (Library) migration from one technology to another technology
  • Parameterized Cells (PCells) development
  • Development of complex physical verification decks
  • Design Management

In complement to the CAD and Design Enablement capability, Encore Semi has a strong expertise in developing and deploying complete front-end flow for large design teams, enabling them to concurrently and efficiently develop, integrate and verify complex SoC or ASICs. It includes:

  • Revision Control/Repository tracking: (prevent corruptions, enable debug & effective sharing)
  • Regressions management: (prevent new items (RTL or environment) from blocking team members
  • Bug & Change tracking: (central communication not dependent on email, preventing issues from being forgotten)