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Principles of Top-Down Mixed- Signal Design

Ken Kundert Designer’s Guide Consulting, Inc.

Version 1, February 2003

With mixed-signal designs becoming more complex and pressure increasing to get the designs right on the first try, designers are finding that the traditional bottom-up design style is no longer adequate. They must adopt a more rigorous process for design and verification: top-down design. It involves more than simply a cursory design of the architecture before designing the blocks. Rather, it requires a design methodology that emphasizes communication and planning, and that smoothly transitions from initial concept to final implementation, with each step being verified with simulation.

This paper was presented in the short course on System-on-a-Chip Design given at the Interna- tional Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC-2003). It derives from presentations that were enti- tled A Formal Top-Down Design Process for Mixed-Signal Circuits given at the Advances in Analog Circuit Design workshop (AACD-2000 in Germany) and at the Electronic Design Pro- cesses workshop (EDP-2001 in Monterey), and from a paper published in Analog Circuit Design, R.J. van de Plassche, J.H. Huijsing and W.M.C. Sansen (editors), Kluwer Academic Publishers, November 2000.

Last updated on September 21, 2006. Contact the author via e-mail at ken@designers-guide.com.

Permission to make copies, either paper or electronic, of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that the copies are not made or distributed for profit or commer- cial advantage and that the copies are complete and unmodified. To distribute otherwise, to pub- lish, to post on servers, or to distribute to lists, requires prior written permission.

Copyright © 2003-2006, Kenneth S. Kundert – All Rights Reserved

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