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.


Purposes Tool company
RTL Simulations VCS Synopsys
Xcelium Cadence Design System
NC-Sim Cadence Design System
Mentor Graphics (Now Siemens)
Mentor Graphics (Now Siemens)
ISE Simulator Xilinx
Incisive Cadence Design System
RTL Signoff SpyGlass Synopsys
JasperGold Cadence Design System
Logic Synthesis Fusion Compiler (RTL-to-GDSII solution) Synopsys
Design Compiler Synopsy
Genus Synthesis Solution Cadence Design System
RTL Compiler (upgraded to Genus)
Cadence Design System
LEC Conformal Cadence Design System
Formality Synopsys
Place and Route Innovus Cadence Design System
IC Compiler (ICC) Synopsys
Encounter (upgraded to Innovus) Cadence Design System
RC Extraction Quantus RC Extraction Cadence Design System
StarRC Synopsys
STA primeTime Synopsys
Tempus Cadence Design System
Dorado (Now a part of Synopsys)
Encounter Timing System (ETS) Cadence Design System
IR Analysis Voltus Cadence Design System
RedHawk Ansys
Pyhsical Verification
(Fill, DRC, LVS,
Antenna, PERC)
Mentor Graphics (Now Siemens)
IC Validator Synopsys
Pegasus Cadence Design System
PVS (Physical Verification System)
Cadence Design System
Power simulation Jules Cadence Design System



There are some other useful tools here.


Tools Used for Company Name
OrCAD PCB Design, Digital Design Cadence Design System
Spectre SPICE Simulation Cadence Design System
HSPICE SPICE Simulation Synopsys
Virtuoso Schematic and Layout Editor Cadence Design System
Custom Designer Schematic and Layout Editor Synopsys
Abstract Abstract generation (.lef) Cadence Design System
Custom Waveview
Waveform viewer of simulated result
Sentaurus SDevice
Device Simulator Synopsys
Sentaurus SProcess
Processes editor Synopsys
Sentaurus Sedit GUI of device editor Synopsys
visual tool for device and waveform
3D TCAD 3D Device simulation Synopsys
Silvaco TCAD TCAD Tool Silvaco
ICCAP Device characterization/Testing KeySight
Liberate Library characterization (.lib) Cadence Design System
LT Spice A free SPICE simulator Linear Technology


Thank You! 

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


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