Mixed-Signal Systems

Mixed-Signal Analysis

Use MATLAB and Simulink for behavioral modeling, rapid design exploration, predesign analysis, and verification of mixed-signal systems.

For getting started with designing mixed-signal integrated circuits (ICs), you can use Mixed-Signal Blockset models of PLLs and ADCs. Building blocks are characterized with data sheet specifications and include analog impairments. Built-in analysis tools and measurement testbenches help you with reducing the verification effort.

For the design and analysis of high-speed links, such as PCI Express, USB, DDR, and Ethernet, you can use SerDes Toolbox to build and assess your channel equalization scheme and automatically generate IBIS-AMI models for channel simulation.

With MATLAB and Simulink, you can:

  • Create behavioral models of PLLs, DACs, ADCs, SerDes, SMPS, and other mixed-signal systems
  • Evaluate analog-digital design tradeoffs following a top-down methodology
  • Link system-level models to EDA tools via co-simulation or by creating SystemVerilog modules and IBIS-AMI models
  • Verify designs including analog/digital hardware and control logic before producing test chips.

Mixed-Signal Analysis

MATLAB provides greater analysis and visualization functionality than spreadsheets or traditional programming languages like C/C++. However, you don’t have to abandon your existing investments; MATLAB works with Microsoft Excel and with C/C++.

Mixed-Signal Top-Down Design

Use and elaborate behavioral models and measurement testbenches to enable faster design and verification. In Simulink, you can simulate analog circuits together with control logic and digital hardware at different levels of abstraction.

Describe analog electronics either using continuous-time signals at the “transfer function” abstraction level or using Simscape Electrical to model voltages and currents and components such as RLC elements, op-amps, and switches.

Describe digital electronics at the algorithmic level using floating-point accuracy or perform bit-accurate simulations using fixed-point data types of arbitrary length, including quantization and saturation effects. Lastly, generate synthesizable HDL code for targeting ASICs and FPGAs.

Describe control logic and state machines at the algorithmic level using MATLAB functions or Stateflow®. You can use fixed-point data types and decide whether to target microcontrollers using embedded C/C++ code generation or generate synthesizable HDL code for targeting ASICs and FPGAs.

Mixed-Signal Verification

System-level models must be linked to the next stages in the design flow. You have different ways to use your MATLAB and Simulink models as test harnesses for SPICE models, HDL code, or hardware.

Cosimulation is a run-time link between different tools; at every simulation time step, data is exchanged between tools, enabling them to run together to simulate a model. In the analog domain, Cadence®Virtuoso® AMS Designer provides cosimulation links to Simulink. In the digital domain, HDL Verifier provides links to third-party HDL simulators and FPGAs boards for in the loop testing.

For regression testing and reuse in functional verification environments, you can export MATLAB algorithms and Simulink models as SystemVerilog modules taking advantage of the DPI-C interface.

You can analyze IC simulation results with MATLAB to visualize data more effectively and to further refine behavioral models using optimization, machine learning, or deep learning techniques.

The final level of mixed-signal verification is device testing. At this stage, MATLAB and Simulink integrate with a variety of test equipment, enabling you to build test systems that create test vectors via models, control test equipment, and analyze the results.