Regular Analog/RF Integrated Circuits Design Using Optimization with Recourse Including Ellipsoidal Uncertainty

Y. Xu, K.-L. Hsiung, X. Li, I. Nausieda, L. Pileggi, and S. Boyd

IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, 28(5):623–637, May 2009.

Long design cycles due to the inability to predict silicon realities are a well-known problem that plagues analog/RF integrated circuit product development. As this problem worsens for nanoscale IC technologies, the high cost of design and multiple manufacturing spins causes fewer products to have the volume required to support full-custom implementation. Design reuse and analog synthesis make analog/RF design more affordable; however, the increasing process variability and lack of modeling accuracy remain extremely challenging for nanoscale analog/RF design. We propose a regular analog/RF IC using metal-mask configurability design methodology Optimization with Recourse of Analog Circuits including Layout Extraction (ORACLE), which is a combination of reuse and shared-use by formulating the synthesis problem as an optimization with recourse problem. Using a two-stage geometric programming with recourse approach, ORACLE solves for both the globally optimal shared and application-specfic variables. Furthermore, robust optimization is proposed to treat the design with variability problem, further enhancing the ORACLE methodology by providing yield bound for each configuration of regular designs. The statistical variations of the process parameters are captured by a confidence ellipsoid. We demonstrate ORACLE for regular Low Noise Amplifier designs using metal-mask configurability, where a range of applications share common underlying structure and application-specific customization is performed using the metal-mask layers. Two RF oscillator design examples are shown to achieve robust designs with guaranteed yield bound.