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STARC Certifies MATLAB and Simulink as Preferred Tools in New STARCAD-AMS Design Workflow

Model-Based Design workflow and tools qualified to facilitate system-level design and verification of mixed-signal semiconductors


Natick, Mass. - (9 Apr 2013)

MathWorks announced today that the Semiconductor Technology Academic Research Center (STARC) in Japan has selected and certified MATLAB, Simulink, and Embedded Coder as the preferred tools for Model-Based Design in its new STARCAD-AMS design flow. STARC is the Japan semiconductor industry consortium of which member companies are Fujitsu Semiconductor, Panasonic, Renesas Electronics, Rohm, Sony and Toshiba.

Now, Model-Based Design using MATLAB and Simulink can be incorporated as a pre-qualified system level platform by participant member companies in the standard semiconductor design and verification flows of their Mixed-Signal design project.

The STARCAD-AMS approach standardizes the analog/mixed-signal ASIC design flow and eases migration between system-level design and circuit-level design through a prescribed inter-design tool cooperation methodology. In this improved flow, engineers perform system-level behavioral modeling and simulation in MATLAB and Simulink to take advantage of extensive libraries of blocks and functions, as well as fast simulation speeds. This flow continues with automatic C-code generation with Embedded Coder and custom System Verilog extensions that interface and integrate the behavioral models in industry-standard downstream EDA tools. In an evaluation project with the new design flow – featuring Model-Based Design and automatic code generation,and conducted on a motifcircuit prepared by STARC – the development time was reduced by approximately 50 percent.

The STARCAD-AMS design flow uses Model-Based Design to enable three key activities:

  • System-level modeling and simulation of behavioral models, which allow engineers to collaborate across system-level and analog-circuit-level design. 
  • Optimization of system design parameters, by creating an analog/mixed-signal large-scale integration (LSI) design environment at the system level.
  • Automatic code generation for interfacing and integration with industry-standard downstream EDA tools, using Embedded Coder.

“Creating a workflow that streamlines system-level design for mixed-signal ASICs was a new challenge, which came with a mix of expectations and uncertainty,” said Kunihiko Tsuboi, STARC's senior manager of mixed-signal design group, R&D Department Div. 2. “However, STARC was able to test and witness the high quality and flexibility of MATLAB and Simulink, which allowed us to quickly and effectively solve design issues as they arose. We are also very impressed with the quality of support and speed of response that MathWorks provided throughout the process.”

“Model-Based Design continues to help increase collaboration, tool integration, and generation of C-code across the semiconductor industry,” said Sameer Prabhu, industry marketing director, MathWorks. “ASIC developers across the globe can now adopt the design platform that has been tested and preapproved by STARC – one of the leading centers for semiconductor design methodology in the world. The new STARCAD-AMS design flow improvements will help engineers gain added confidence in the quality and speed of their development efforts.”

About STARC

The Semiconductor Technology Academic Research Center (STARC) was founded in December 1995 by Japan’s leading semiconductor manufacturers to strengthen its design competitiveness. STARC has since collaborated with universities to expand the semiconductor research infrastructure at Japanese universities; arranged system-on-chip (SOC) design seminars through cooperation between industry and academia to train specialized chip architects; and collectively worked with client companies to develop a suite of technology enablers in order to address design difficulties compounded the shrinking. The results of these projects have been put to good use among the semiconductor industry. For more information, visit www.starc.jp/index-e.html.

About MathWorks

MathWorks is the leading developer of mathematical computing software. MATLAB, the language of technical computing, is a programming environment for algorithm development, data analysis, visualization, and numeric computation. Simulink is a graphical environment for simulation and Model-Based Design for multidomain dynamic and embedded systems. Engineers and scientists worldwide rely on these product families to accelerate the pace of discovery, innovation, and development in automotive, aerospace, electronics, financial services, biotech-pharmaceutical, and other industries. MathWorks products are also fundamental teaching and research tools in the world's universities and learning institutions. Founded in 1984, MathWorks employs more than 2800 people in 15 countries, with headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts, USA. For additional information, visit mathworks.com.

MATLAB and Simulink are registered trademarks of The MathWorks, Inc. See www.mathworks.com/trademarks for a list of additional trademarks. Other product or brand names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.