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IHP supports Silicon RFIC Interoperability with Keysight Technologies’ ADS 2015 Release

IHP today announced support for ADS-Virtuoso Interoperable process design kits (PDKs). The PDKs are designed for use with Keysight’s Advanced Design System (ADS) EDA software and provide users access to a new Silicon RFIC interoperability feature available in ADS 2015.01.

IHP is a non-profit organization that pursues interdisciplinary basic and application-oriented research in the fields of high performance microelectronics and communication. It has developed into an internationally recognized competence center for silicon-germanium offering research partners and customers access to its SiGe:C BiCMOS technologies and integrated RF modules.


The ADS Silicon RFIC Interoperability improves the design process by allowing the user to work off a single design database in ADS and Virtuoso. This allows the user to edit and simulate schematic designs created by Virtuoso in ADS and vice-versa or open a layout generated in either tool. For example, a user can open a Virtuoso IC layout cell view in ADS, instantiate the cell within a package or module, and then run an electromagnetic simulation on the complete design to validate its overall system performance.


“The new Silicon RFIC Interoperability will allow us to provide our customers a single PDK that supports both Virtuoso and ADS EDA tools,” said Dr. René Scholz, Team Leader for PDK Development and MPW Service at IHP. “This will economize our PDK development and maintenance efforts while also bringing more ADS EDA tool functionality into our design flow. We have released the first interoperable PDKs for SGB25V and SG13S processes.”


SGB25V is a cost effective SiGe:C BiCMOS process, mainly adopted for MMICs and mixed signal ASICs with application frequencies up to 20 GHz. SG13S is a high performance 0.13µm BiCMOS  process with a npn-HBT with fT/fmax of 250/300GHz for advanced mm-wave applications.


Keysight’s ADS is the industry’s leading platform for designing RF microwave and signal integrity applications. With its pioneering solutions for RF circuit, EM and thermal simulations, it helps designers address even their most difficult design challenges. The new interoperability feature in ADS 2015.01 now provides designers of silicon RF ICs access to the same core technologies, independent of which schematic capturing or layout editing tool is used.

“Our customers can now access ADS’ dedicated RF design flow tools based on a standard Virtuoso PDK,” said Volker Blaschke, ADS product planning manager, Keysight EEsof EDA. “The new interoperability feature facilitates the design process by using a single design data library for ADS and Virtuoso, removing redundant steps in setting up schematics and porting layouts between the tools and enabling a true RFIC/package/board co-design flow. This interoperable flow increases designer productivity and flexibility, and reduces time-to-tape-out for silicon-based RF designs.”


Das Gebäude und die Infrastruktur des IHP wurden finanziert vom Europäischen Fonds für regionale Entwicklung, von der Bundesregierung und vom Land Brandenburg.