Coventor® Extends MEMS+IC Design to System Level Through Integration with Simulink® from MathWorks

Newest release of MEMS+®design suite allows simulation of 3D MEMS models in popular system-level design tool to create seamless flow for MEMS + IC design

CARY, North Carolina – October 13, 2010 – Coventor, Inc., (www.coventor.com) the leading supplier of software for developing micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), today announced the release of the latest version of its MEMS+ design suite. The new release, MEMS + 2.0, includes tight integration and simulation within the widely-used Simulink environment from MathWorks. This support builds on the company’s existing integration with the Virtuoso® IC design system from Cadence Design Systems (also enhanced in this release) to provide designers with an efficient, integrated environment for incorporating MEMS into traditional IC and system-on-chip (SoC) design methodologies.

In addition to the more unified and complete MEMS+IC design flow enabled by MEMS+, the latest release improves simulation performance within the Cadence environment and expands the library of 3D MEMS building blocks available to enable a wider variety of MEMS-based applications. Additional features in the tool’s user interface improve the ease of design creation and re-use within the solution as well. The result is the most robust and intuitive platform for developing products that combine traditional IC with MEMS.

“This an elegant way to connect and manage the very specific 3D design information required for MEMS design within Simulink, which can address behavioral modeling and functional correctness. Both MEMS designers and IC designers can benefit from this integration, with IC designers being shielded from the complexity of the physics of MEMS but still able to simulate them in the context of the system,” said Jim Tung , MathWorks Fellow. “The integration with MEMS+ with Simulink provides a more efficient approach to MEMS-based design.”

The MEMS+ product suite anchors Coventor’s strategy for “bringing MEMS to the mainstream,” which addresses the expanding opportunity for MEMS in a wide variety of applications and new markets. The strategy focuses on removing the traditional barriers to developing and integrating MEMS – time, cost, complexity – particularly for traditional IC designers not familiar with the nuances of MEMS. In addition to the MEMS+ platform itself, Coventor is working to enable a complete ecosystem for MEMS development through collaboration with foundries, complementary tool suppliers, IP and library developers, as well as fabless IC companies looking to leverage the MEMS opportunity.

Enabling system-level design with MEMS

With the newest version of MEMS+, designers can use the same parameterized behavioral model created in the MEMS+ environment for simulations in both the Simulink and Cadence Virtuoso environments. MEMS engineers can now simulate their MEMS design in the familiar Simulink environment, optimize parameters, and hand off automatically-generated behavioral models to their counterparts in the system architecture and IC design domains.

System architects can then easily incorporate MEMS in algorithmic-level simulations that span software, firmware, digital logic and analog circuits, while IC designers can incorporate MEMS in implementation-level simulations as well as physical design. Through the integration, all groups work from a single MEMS design representation in MEMS+. As with the Virtuoso integration there is no programming, just the creation of the MEMS design in the intuitive 3D user interface provided by MEMS+.

“Our goal with MEMS+ has always been to develop a structured methodology that is familiar to traditional IC designers and allow them to easily incorporate MEMS devices into their flows. This support for Simulink makes MEMS+ even more accessible to MEMS designers and adds an important system-level capability that extends the value of MEMS+ to the functional definition stage,” said Mike Jamiolkowski, CEO of Coventor.

MEMS+ 2.0 includes an expanded version of Coventor’s extensive library of MEMS building blocks. This library has been proven in nearly a decade of use at MEMS companies for developing a wide variety of advanced MEMS devices, including accelerometers, gyroscopes, display mirrors, resonators, pressure sensors and RF switches. The new 2.0 version of the library builds on those achievements with numerous enhancements, especially for designing and simulating the flexible structures that occur in inertial sensors, microphones and energy harvesting devices.

A consistent modeling approach for MEMS+IC design

Traditionally, to support algorithmic design in Simulink as well as implementation-level design in Cadence Virtuoso, a MEMS designer would manually create and hand off separate behavioral models for MATLAB and Virtuoso. The process of keeping different models in sync with the evolving MEMS design is complex; it must be done manually and, to avoid errors, requires time-consuming re-validation of the models.

The Coventor MEMS+ parametric design format provides a new standard that facilitates communication between the various tools in a complete IC flow. Using MEMS+ for design entry, MEMS designers can develop and maintain a single design source and automatically generate schematic symbols and simulation models for the Simulink and Cadence Virtuoso environments. In addition, MEMS+ can export 3D solid models for verification of the detailed MEMS behavior with finite element analysis. The single design source assures that all models are in sync.

The MEMS+ platform and the included library of parametric MEMS building blocks provides MEMS designers with the ability to perform custom parameterization of all design aspects, including variations due to the manufacturing process, ambient environment, or geometric dimensions of the design itself. Each parameter can be defined as a value, a variable, or an algebraic expression.

Designers can then import MEMS+ designs into Simulink or the Virtuoso Parts Library using a simple import interface. The MEMS system designer confirms the device performance by running simulations directly in the Simulink environment. All simulation results can be loaded back into the MEMS+ system and animated in the tool’s 3-D canvas.

About Coventor

Coventor, Inc. is a market leader in automated design solutions for micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS). Its software tool suite and expertise in MEMS design address the challenges of integrating these devices into the growing number of products – from smart phones to gaming systems to automobiles –that are adopting MEMS-enabled capabilities. Coventor’s solutions specifically offer designers of mixed-signal ICs, ASICs and SOCs a way to efficiently integrate MEMS into their design methodology without having to be experts in mechanical design. Its MEMS+™ design platform works seamlessly with popular electronic design automation (EDA) flows and tools, reducing the complexity and risk of adopting MEMS. The company is headquartered in Cary, North Carolina and has offices in San Mateo, Calif., Cambridge, Mass, and Paris. More information is available at http://www.coventor.com.

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