10 April

EDA tools in ASIC Industry

  We have noticed that when a person enters into the ASIC industry, He/She comes across various EDA tools of different EDA companies.  It's natural for experienced professionals that the name of tools/company easily gets remembered, but for the freshers, they often forget the name because it's new for them. It has also been noticed that in interviews sometimes interviewers ask the tool's name on which candidate has worked just to get the idea that which areas they have explored. Although remembering the tool's name does not define the level of intelligence of the candidate but of course, if you are not able to tell the name of the tools on which you have worked, will not give a good impression before the interviewer. It is always good to keep some information beyond your initial experience. For example, one might have worked only one STA tool say primeTime, but it's good to know what are other tools being used in Industry. 

This article will let you know the major EDA tools which are being widely used in the ASIC industry for different purposes. Each tool has some specialty over others but that is not a part of this article. We are not going to compare them. Here we will learn the popular tools used in ASIC Industries for various purposes and their company name. 

Kidly note that there are only a handful of EDA companies exists in the industry because If we look over the history of EDA company, we will find that there are lots of mergers and acquisitions had happened in this sector in past. Many new companies have come with their new innovative tool in past but somehow those have been acquired by the big players of this sector, and finally, the number of major EDA companies in the industry is very handful namely Cadence Design System, Synopsys, Mentor Graphics (now Siemens) and few more.

 Here we will categorize the major tools and their vendor as per their utility. I request to my readers there are lots of updates going on, many new tools beings launched every year, Therefore if I missed something important keep adding those in the comments, I will keep updating the list.


RTL SimulationsVCSSynopsys

XceliumCadence Design System

NC-SimCadence Design System

Mentor Graphics (Now Siemens)

Mentor Graphics (Now Siemens)

ISE SimulatorXilinx

IncisiveCadence Design System

RTL SignoffSpyGlassSynopsys

JasperGoldCadence Design System

Logic SynthesisFusion Compiler (RTL-to-GDSII solution)Synopsys

Design CompilerSynopsy

Genus Synthesis SolutionCadence Design System

RTL Compiler (upgraded to Genus)
Cadence Design System

LECConformalCadence Design System


Place and RouteInnovusCadence Design System

IC Compiler (ICC)Synopsys

Encounter (upgraded to Innovus)Cadence Design System

RC ExtractionQuantus RC ExtractionCadence Design System



TempusCadence Design System

Dorado (Now a part of Synopsys)

Encounter Timing System (ETS)Cadence Design System

IR AnalysisVoltusCadence Design System


Pyhsical Verification
(Fill, DRC, LVS,
Antenna, PERC)
Mentor Graphics (Now Siemens)

IC ValidatorSynopsys

PegasusCadence Design System

PVS (Physical Verification System)
Cadence Design System

Power simulationJulesCadence Design System

There are some other useful tools here.

ToolsUsed forCompany Name

OrCADPCB Design, Digital DesignCadence Design System

SpectreSPICE SimulationCadence Design System

HSPICESPICE SimulationSynopsys

VirtuosoSchematic and Layout EditorCadence Design System

Custom DesignerSchematic and Layout EditorSynopsys

AbstractAbstract generation (.lef)Cadence Design System

Custom Waveview
Waveform viewer of simulated result

Sentaurus SDevice
Device SimulatorSynopsys

Sentaurus SProcess
Processes editorSynopsys

Sentaurus SeditGUI of device editorSynopsys

visual tool for device and waveform

3D TCAD3D Device simulationSynopsys

Silvaco TCADTCAD ToolSilvaco

ICCAPDevice characterization/TestingKeySight

LiberateLibrary characterization (.lib)Cadence Design System

LT SpiceA free SPICE simulatorLinear Technology

Thank You! 

If you feel, Something important is missing from this list, feel free to comment.


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