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Coventor improves speed and compatibility of MEMS

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Provides IC co-design with new release of industry-leading MEMS design suite

CARY, USA: Coventor Inc., a leading supplier of design automation solutions MEMS, announced its MEMS+ 4.0 software suite for accelerating development of advanced MEMS devices and systems.

The MEMS+ suite enables MEMS and IC designers to rapidly explore and optimize designs in parallel in the mathworks MATLAB and Cadence Virtuoso environments. The MEMS+ 4.0 release features a new capability to export models in verilog-a format and a full 64-bit implementation that allows more accurate modeling of complex MEMS sensors and actuators.

The MEMS+ 4.0 suite is a key part of Coventor's platform for MEMS development, which also includes the CoventorWare and SEMulator3D software suites. The platform provides a complete solution for designing and verifying state-of-the-art accelerometers, gyroscopes, microphones and many other types of MEMS.

This latest release of the MEMS+ suite extends the scope of the platform by providing a 'tunable' accuracy-versus-speed approach for co-designing MEMS ICs and compatibility with more EDA analog/mixed-signal simulation environments.

Faster, more compatible MEMS modeling
With MEMS+ 4.0, MEMS designers can automatically generate and export ROMs in Verilog-A format for use by IC designers. These exported models simulate 100X faster than fully non-linear MEMS+ models and are compatible with all commercial analog/mixed-signal circuit simulators that support the industry-standard Verilog-A hardware description language.

During model generation, designers can select one or more non-linear input variables; all other input variables are linearized about selected non-linear operating points. This approach is ideally suited to sensor and resonator applications due to their relatively small displacement in comparison to air gaps. In comparison to hand-crafted Verilog-A models, these automatically generated models simulate just as fast while capturing much more behavioral complexity, including multiple degrees of freedom, environmental sensitivities, critical non-linear effects and the influence of packaging on device performance.

Equally important, the MEMS+ approach is automated and much less labor intensive, eliminating opportunities for human error and assuring that the models stay in sync with design changes. When IC designers find behavior that requires deeper analysis, they can switch to full MEMS+ models in the Cadence Virtuoso environment for more detailed investigations.

According to Murata's ASIC Design manager, Tero Sillanpää: "The Verilog-A ROM exported from MEMS+ 4.0 captures second order effects not seen in basic hand-crafted models without any compromise in simulation performance. We were able to create a Verilog-A ROM of a complex gyro design in just a few minutes, allowing our ASIC team to work in parallel with the MEMS team on further design iterations.

"Harmonic simulations in Cadence showed that the model maintained the expected modal frequencies and was stable. Moreover, transient startup simulations were very fast, on the order of 25s CPU time for 1s real time, before front-end electronic components including RC parasitics were added. The robust model exchange between MEMS and ASIC designers enabled by MEMS+ reduces the probability of design error and can help avoid costly redesign iterations needed to address unexpected behavior."

Higher capacity platform
The MEMS+ 4.0 release also features a full 64-bit implementation of all software components, providing the capacity to handle larger models that more accurately represent device structural details and behavior. This enhancement is particularly relevant for sensor applications due to the increasing structural complexity of state-of-the-art gyro and microphone designs.

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