CACE: Defining an open-source analog and mixed-signal design flow

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  • Speaker: Leo Moser
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  • Other information: Efabless website



The availability of open-source foundry PDKs has produced some standardization of open-source EDA software tools and flows. Digital flows have largely standardized around yosys, OpenROAD, and iverilog. Analog flows are tending toward xschem, klayout, magic, netgen, ngspice, and Xyce; however, the term "flow" is used loosely as there are few standards around filesystem formats, methods, documentation, and best practices. The "CACE" system (Circuit Automatic Characterization Engine) seeks to partly solve this problem by introducing a framework and methodology for specifying the electrical and physical parameters of a circuit, managing simulation over corners and conditions, generating results, and collating data into tables of limits and plots in the form of a datasheet. Adhering to the format requirements of CACE is simple and straightforward, ensures consistency among open-source IP, and encourages re-use. CACE was used with Efabless' "Chipalooza" challenge to help create a collection of verified analog and mixed-signal circuits for the Sky130 process, and is already being introduced into classroom instruction.


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