[ibis-macro] canned circuit models

  • From: "Ken Willis" <kwillis@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "'IBIS-ATM'" <ibis-macro@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2012 10:11:11 -0500

Hi all,

There was not a lot of air time to be had on this in the last meeting, so I
wanted to follow up with email. This is just opinion of course. But I think
that canned circuit models are a bad idea for IBIS and the industry. Here
are some thoughts on this.

- historical perspective
Think back to the original IBIS spec. Basically, a canned circuit model for
IOs was defined. It was very successful, and covered everything that
engineers thought they wanted at the time. But technology progresses, things
evolve and change, and new requirements surface. More and more keywords
needed to be added, as well as more complexity, and resulted in more churn
on the spec (more on this aspect later). Eventually it was decided that if
we could just define a common circuit description language with External
Model/Circuit, we could define any circuit that was needed, and the spec
could stabilize. Finally we realize that Spice is that common language (not
Fork/End Fork for example), and ISS support got added. To me, that should be
pretty much it for circuit modeling.

So the lesson here is that canned circuit modeling runs out of gas no matter
how forward thinking you try to be. This has already been observed once. You
either result in keyword explosion to try to keep up with requirements, or
you define a general language you can use to describe any circuit you need
to. It seems to me the smart approach now is to learn from that and just
define the general language.

- spec churn
Going with canned circuits results in spec churn, period. You either have to
add keyword after keyword, or you have to continually add new canned
circuits to the spec each release. It's the same thing. The resulting churn
leaves model developers, EDA suppliers, and end users constantly chasing the
spec. That is bad for everybody, as it is a tremendous waste of resources.
And completely redundant with a general solution. Stability of the spec is
highly desirable, as end users just want to drop compliant models into
compliant tools and plug-n-play as they wish to get their job done. This
doesn't happen when the spec is in constant flux and everyone is chasing it
on different schedules. Think of measuring the quality of the spec by the
rate at which it needs to be modified.

- circuit modeling not just for AMI
SerDes IBIS-AMI models have 2 parts; IO circuit models and on-chip
algorithmic models for EQ. The circuit model part can come from general
IBIS, and I think the main focus of this sub-committee should be on the
algorithmic part. There is more than enough to do there. But somewhere along
the way the tail started to wag the dog, and proposals started to outline
AMI-specific circuit modeling. Again, I think this is a bad direction. The
algorithmic modeling needs focus, as things are changing there rapidly, and
links to the associated circuit models are absolutely needed. But I don't
like the direction of AMI-specific circuits. Again, a more general solution
for circuit modeling will be much more efficient and serve the industry much
better in the long run.

So, in a nutshell, some basic ideas:

- canned circuits is a bad direction in general
- AMI-specific circuit models falls into that category
- more general solutions where possible and less spec churn is desirable; we
will create enough churn just keeping up with the algorithmic model

Ken Willis
Sigrity, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: ibis-macro-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:ibis-macro-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Muranyi, Arpad
Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 2:23 PM
Subject: [ibis-macro] Re: IBIS-ATM teleconference - Agenda for 1/17/2011

I prepared a couple of slides to aid our
discussion today.

These slides are an attempt to summarize the
various arguments (pro/con) with the goal of
helping our decision process at the end.  I 
intend to keep adding more to these slides as
we go with our discussions.



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