Cadence's RF Software Now Certified for Use on UMC’s 28nm Process Technology

Cadence Design Systems and United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) have announced that the Cadence® millimeter wave (mmWave) reference flow has achieved certification for UMC’s 28HPC+ process technology. The 28HPC+ is UMC’s 28nm process technology. With this certification, mutual Cadence and UMC customers have access to an integrated RF design flow that accelerates time to market. The complete mmWave reference flow, based on UMC’s Foundry Design Kit (FDK), includes an actual demonstration circuit with a highly automated circuit design, layout, signoff, and verification flow that provides a more seamless design when using the 28HPC+ process.

The certified mmWave reference flow supports the Cadence Intelligent System Design™ strategy, which enables customers to achieve SoC design excellence.

High-frequency mmWave RF designs require accurate electromagnetic (EM) extraction and simulation analysis in addition to analog and mixed-signal capabilities. The mmWave reference flow, based on the Cadence Virtuoso® RF solution, brings together the industry-leading schematic capture, layout implementation, parasitic extraction, EM analysis and RF circuit simulation, along with integrated layout versus schematic (LVS) and design rule checking (DRC) in a single flow. This flow also incorporates EM analysis using the Cadence EMX® Planar 3D Simulator and Cadence AWR® AXIEM® 3D Planar EM Analysis into the trusted Virtuoso and Spectre® platforms, providing a high level of automation and the ability to analyze the performance of RF circuits pre- and post-silicon.

The certified mmWave reference flow includes:
  • Design capture and simulation via the Virtuoso Schematic Editor, Virtuoso ADE Explorer and Assembler, Spectre X Simulator, Spectre AMS Designer and the Spectre RF Option
  • Layout implementation via the Virtuoso Layout Suite and Physical Verification System (PVS)
  • Parasitic extraction of transistor-level interconnects via the Quantus™ Extraction Solution
  • Electromagnetic analysis of interconnects across transistors including passive RF structures via the EMX or AWR AXIEM 3D Planar simulators

KT Moore, vice president, product management in the Custom IC & PCB Group at Cadence, commented that through the collaboration with UMC, their mutual customers can now take advantage of the most advanced features within the industry-leading Virtuoso and Spectre platforms while leveraging the EMX and AWR AXIEM integrated EM solvers for designing 5G, IoT, and automotive applications. This flow allows engineers using the UMC 28HPC+ process technology to more accurately predict circuit performance in silicon, which is critical for meeting productivity and time-to-market goals.

With its AEC Q100 automotive grade-1 platform solution, UMC's production-proven 28HPC+ solution is able to serve a complete range of applications, from digital to mmWave. 28HPC+ utilizes a high-performance High-k/Metal Gate stack, and UMC further extends its SPICE model coverage to 110GHz for mmWave to serve mobile phone, automotive/industrial radar, and 5G FWA/CPE applications. Customers can leverage UMC's mmWave FDK to design a transceiver IC or integrate the foundry’s well-established digital and analog IP to accelerate their mmWave SoC design.

T.H. Lin, director of IP Development and Design Support at UMC, stated that they’ve developed a comprehensive mmWave reference flow with Cadence that utilizes their comprehensive RF design flow in conjunction with a UMC foundry kit so engineers can create accurate, innovative designs using our 28HPC+ process technology. Leveraging the flow capabilities and the familiar Virtuoso design environment, customers can minimize iterations and deliver designs based on their 28 nm technology much more efficiently.

Click here to learn more about the Cadence RF solutions that support the UMC 28HPC+ process technology.