Georg Gläser, IMMS, (left) was honoured with the Best Paper Award at the FDL 2016 conference. Photograph: Prof. Dr. Robert Wille.
Georg Gläser, IMMS, (left) was honoured with the Best Paper Award at the FDL 2016 conference. Photograph: Prof. Dr. Robert Wille.

Best Paper Award goes to IMMS for work on computer-aided verification methods

Novel approach as fresh impetus for the development of Industry 4.0 applications

At the ”Forum on specification & Design Languages“ in Bremen (Germany) on September 16th 2016 IMMS Institut für Mikroelektronik- und Mechatronik-Systeme gemeinnützige GmbH and research partners received the Best Paper Award for their contribution ”Knowing Your AMS System’s Limits: System Acceptance Region Exploration by Using Automated Model Refinement and Accelerated Simulation.“ 

The honoured work is an outcome of the cluster research project ANCONA which includes five universities or research establishments. Computer-aided verification methods are the research subject, with the intention of improving and greatly accelerate the design of analog/mixed signal circuits, which will be the technological basis for the realisation of such visions as the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0. To date, it has largely been impossible to test the interaction between the system components and any of the parasitic currents to which they may be exposed from the mains voltage in any setting but a laboratory. Because of this, the project partners are working on computer-aided procedures which will provide reliable testing of complex systems even at the design stage and prove their functionality.

To achieve first-time-right designs IMMS focusses on specialised methods which will enable parasitic coupling instances to be integrated into the system models, and the models efficiently simulated. IMMS is at work on ways of automatically extending models of mixed analogue-and-digital circuits at system level so as to identify critical scenarios.

Abstract of the honoured work:

Knowing Your AMS System’s Limits: System Acceptance Region Exploration by Using Automated Model Refinement and Accelerated Simulation,

Georg Gläser1 , Hyun-Sek Lukas Lee2 , Markus Olbrich2 , and Erich Barke2, 1IMMS Institut für Mikroelektronik- und Mechatronik-Systeme gemeinnützige GmbH Ilmenau, Germany, 2Institute of Microelectronic Systems, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany

Virtual prototyping of Analog/Mixed-Signal (AMS) systems is a key concern in modern SoC verification. Achieving first-time-right designs is a challenging task: Every relevant functional and non-functional property has to be examined throughout the complete design process. Many faulty designs have been verified carefully before tape out but are still missing at least one low-level effect which arises from interaction between one or more system components. Since these extra-functional effects are often neglected on system level, the design cannot be rectified in early design stages or verified before fabrication.

We introduce a method to determine system acceptance regions tackling this challenge: We include extra-functional effects into the system models, and we investigate their behavior with parallel simulations in combination with an accelerated analog simulation scheme. The accelerated simulation approach is based on local linearizations of nonlinear circuits, which result in piecewise- linear systems. High-level simulation speed-up is achieved by avoiding numerical integration and using parallel computing.

This approach is fully automated requiring only a circuit netlist. To reduce the overall number of simulations, we use an adaptive sampling algorithm for exploring systems acceptance regions which indicate feasible and critical operating conditions of the AMS system.