DDR4 test bench tackles simulation-measurement correlation challenge

July 01, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Agilent Technologies’ Advanced Design System DDR4 Compliance Test Bench enables a complete workflow for DDR4 engineers from simulation of a candidate design through measurement of the finished prototype. The solution is suitable for OEMs integrating the controller and DIMM into a system using PCB technology, as well as for semiconductor companies developing DDR controller IP, and those developing DRAM chips and DIMMs.

The compliance test bench is available as an add-on to Advanced Design System 2014.01 software from Agilent EEsof EDA. The new test bench uses simulation to ensure that a candidate design yields a fabricated prototype compliant to the voltage and timing specifications of the JEDEC DDR4 standard. Previous tools for this task made it difficult to correlate simulation compliance with hardware prototype and test bench compliance.

The ADS DDR4 Compliance Test Bench rectifies this situation by providing a customisable test harness in which to simulate customers' intellectual property. The test bench also provides a post-processing scripting capability, known as Waveform Bridge, which exports simulated waveforms to the same compliance application used with Agilent Infiniium oscilloscopes. The new version of the Infiniium software works on live data from an oscilloscope and on stored data (offline mode). Additionally, it works on the PC embedded in the oscilloscope and on an ordinary Windows PC (remote mode). Using this new offline/remote mode, engineers can run the compliance app side-by-side with ADS.

“The new approach enabled by the offline/remote mode allows engineers to apply the same set of compliance tests in offline or remote mode,” said Colin Warwick, product manager for high-speed digital design at Agilent EEsof EDA. “More importantly, engineers can now receive the same compliance report from their simulated design as they would on the fabricated prototype.”

The ADS DDR4 Compliance Test Bench provides a seamless solution from simulation to hardware prototype test—all from a single company—avoiding the challenges of working with disparate solutions from different vendors.

The DDR Compliance Test Bench will be available in August as an add-on to the presently shipping ADS 2014.01 platform. A video is at; http://youtu.be/x5RvmiNvGvg

Agilent (soon to be Keysight) Technologies; www.agilent.com/find/eesof-ads-ddr4