Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: Where are you located?
    A: We are wholly located in Tempe, Arizona (USA)
  • Q: What is Analog / Digital On Rails?
    A: Analog On Rails is a completely AUTOMATED MIXED-SIGNAL EDA platform that allows the senior circuit designer to be a "One Stop Shop". NO CAD NOR LAYOUT DESIGNERS ARE NEEDED. Even design management into all popular revision control systems is included. It combines automation (front to back), Correct By Construction™ manual editing, and verification that allows mixed-signal designs to be designed from scratch or migrated in minutes rather than months. We are native to the Open Access database.
  • Q: Didn't you know that you cannot automate analog?
    A: We did not know that, so we did it.
  • Q: I never heard of you. Are you a startup company?
    A: No. We are an upstart company. (And We've Been At It for 20 years)
  • Q: Can our layout designers use Analog On Rails?
    A: No. Circuit designers should do their own layouts. Automation of layout structures and routes allow simulation with all parasitics at all times. The circuit designers create better layouts by utilizing black space and making tradeoffs that the layout designer cannot make. Automation enables "what if" scenarios. Our automatic router is DRC/LVS correct and ELECTRICALLY AWARE. The layout designer has no chance against our automation coupled with the circuit designer.
  • Q: How much CAD support is needed?
    A: None. Analog On Rails is a complete flow that includes design/data management and PDKs.
  • Q: I noticed you have digital place and route? I thought you just had analog automation.
    A: We expanded. We have UVM, digital place and route with the touch of a button all within the Analog Rails design environment. Just like in analog mode, full cross probing and synchronization with the schematic is maintained. We have our own built-in standard cell library with liberty and verilog files. We also have our own static timing tools that includes RCx to unit time delays for all datapaths.
  • Q: How accurate are your PCell's parasitics?
    A: Far more accurate than the 25-year-old tool that you're probably using. The proper STI layout effects will be netlisted out AT ALL TIMES based on abutment, well distances, diffusion group distances, etc. Our schematic and layout are synchronized. We know that the real values are.
  • Q: How do you set matching?
    A: Press "=" and the pair of devices to interdigitize. Simple. These common centroid differential structures with a symmetrical guard ring and gate protection diodes are automatically generated. The differential router creates a shielded wall.
  • Q: How do we customize?
    A: Hearing the complaints that Analog Rails has taken the “creativity away from the analog circuit designer”, advanced customization features have been added for engineers who get paid by the hour, or the religious engineer who really believes that only they have mastered true symmetry.
  • Q: How do you handle high speed signals?
    A: Tag nets as "RF", to leave plenty of space in the route. We minimize Cdg (miller capacitance) and Cds with optimizers
  • Q: How do you see electromigration (EM) and IR drop?
    A: For EM: User selects "%". All route segments and vias exceeding that show up in layout. For R, I, and V: Just select 2 points in the layout.
  • Q: Why do we need layout on the fly?
    A: For simulation accuracy. At feature sizes below 130n, SA and SB have a large effect. The bogus pre-layout calculations that are provided in cdf callbacks are no longer going to cut it. There is no reason for the circuit designer to wait several days/weeks for the layout to get done to get the parasitics.
  • Q: How about manual routing?
    A: You should only use it to force the autorouter, such as for matching or miller capacitance awareness. It is Correct By Construction™ and won't allow a DRC nor a short circuit.
  • Q: And the automatic router?
    A: Correct by Construction™. DRC/LVS correct. Minimizes capacitance. User setable RF, differential, shielded nets, power mesh, differential and signal aware density fill, automatic well tap connection, automatic gate protection diodes and antenna rules, double via option. Differential routes shielded. Single-ended shielded routing option (set in schematic). Maximum wire length and area per layer. We currently handle the design rules down to 12nm.
  • Q: Is your optimizer difficult to use?
    A: No. The simulation environment was built with the optimizer in mind. Place the predefined or custom measurements into the schematic, use our testbench templates or build your own, then launch. Optimizer over all corners and all analysis at the same time. We have 2 global and 2 local optimizers. User can force minimum Vds-Vdsat, Vod, etc.
  • Q: We successfully use Cadence Virtuoso to make chips. Why do we need Analog On Rails?
    A: Because our automation is of good quality.
  • Q: Are you complimentary to Virtuoso?
    A: We read/write based on the same database (Open Access), so you can use both platforms at the same time. We also produce extracted views to allow the user to verify from anywhere. Then again, we don't see a reason to stick with your archaic flow. Analog Rails can replace Virtuoso + all of your surrounding infrastructure.
  • Q: We trust Cadence. After all, didn't they invent the electron?
    A: No. The electron existed several years before Cadence was formed, so they were unable to patent it. As far as trusting Cadence, most of you don't. Most companies use Mentor's Calibre for DRC & LVS. There are a ton of foundry approved simulators. We support most of them.
  • Q: Analog On Rails? What's with the "Rails?"
    A: The "Rails" represents a framework to create integrated circuits quickly. No steering is needed. We know the direction you want to go in.
  • Q: Is Analog Rails cheaper than VXL?
    A: No. A bulldozer is more expensive than a shovel.