Dear Friends,

Posted November 22nd, 2018:

Time flies again! After one year, I believe we had made much progress.

BTW, I became 65 this November, which is a typical retirement age in Japan. But, I am still writing programs with enjoy, developing hobby! LSIs and have no intention to retire.

Update 1: Made a presentation at AVIC2018 (Analog VLSI Conference) in Chiang Mai, Thailand on October 30th. The title of the invited talk is: "EDA for Minimal Fab and dynamic design documentation”. The first half is about Minimal Fab and EDA for it (Minimal EDA). The latter half is regarding design documentation which is crucially important for the success of small volume LSI production which is made possible by Minimal Fab. Why? Design-reuse is a must for such LSIs, and it is impossible w/o good documentation especially in case of analog design. Designers use dedicated EDA system (like Cadence Virtuoso) on engineering workstations and, after designs are finished, they use Microsoft Office to draft documents (probably reluctantly). You know why? They wish they could have skipped the tedious documentation work! In the latter half we have proposed a Jupyter Notebook-based method which merges design work with documentation. It's goal is: when design is completed, documents are already there. Sounds interesting?

Update 2: Minimal EDA is becoming more and more useful. Please visit Semicon Japan on December 12-14 at Tokyo Big Sight.

If you are interested, please send me messages.

Sincerely and best regards,

Seijiro Moriyama

Posted August 4th, 2017:

Time flies! In one year, there were many new things happened. Let me write two updates today.

Update 1: Anagix had joined Minimal Fab research consortium this April, and since then, has been acting as one of the key members in Minimal EDA development team. Minimal Fab is a new LSI fabrication system aiming to fabricate LSIs in three days! The system is quite innovative in many ways: it is best suited for small production, mask less, 0.5um wafer, all equipments are standardadized in 30cm width enclosure, etc.. Please check http://www.industrie.com/it/mediatheque/6/4/7/000004746.pdf for more details. Minimal EDA is a LSI CAD system under development. ALB/ALTA from Anagix will be one of core systems in Minimal EDA. Although Mimimal's EDA's final target is Minimal Fab, we are discussing to apply Minimal EDA to various fabs available with MakeLSI:.

Update 2: "Make LSI: for Guitar & Bass Effectors" will be presented at Maker Faire Tokyo 2017 on August 5th and 6th held at Tokyo Big Sight Exhibition hall in Tokyo. This is a joint project with students at Meiji University. As a member of MakeLSI: project advocated by Prof. Akita of Kanazawa Univ., we have developed LSIs for electric guitars. In addition, based on the guitar effector design, we have modified the design to best fit for bass guitars. From Anagix's perspective, this is an attempt to apply ALB/ALTA to fabrications with MakeLSI:.

If you are interested, please send me messages.

Sincerely and best regards,

Seijiro Moriyama

Posted August 23rd, 2016:

After +10 years silence, I will make a presentation at an international conference held in Boston:


Here is a summary:

Although large scale integrated circuits (LSI) have brought tremendous benefits, most of people have been excluded from LSI development itself due to expensive (fabrication, EDA, etc.) cost and design difficulty. To make long tail (small volume) custom LSI products feasible and to democratize LSI design, we have developed a low-cost LSI CAD system (ALB/ALTA) that provides both professional and non-professional designers with a common design platform, which is a basis for design IP reuse. We have developed a guitar effector LSI recently using 2um CMOS process. The design has been made public as a hardware, with which we will introduce ALB/ALTA's features to show how it can make design more efficient and easier to share.

Sometimes democratization causes confusion or chaos, but I would like to achieve it in LSI design peacefully. Love and peace is my favorite word.

Sincerely and best regards,

Seijiro Moriyama

Posted March 11, 2016:

It is 5 years since the hardest disaster hit Japan. Although the earthquake was not terrible in my home area, I can remember the days when every TVs are showing Tunami's and Nuclear reactors big troubles afterwards everyday. Sincere sympathy to those who suffered and still suffering from the tragedy. By living in Japan which has lots of volcanos and surrounded by seas, we cannot be safe from natural disasters, but we could have avoided those caused by human errors. Let us work together to strengthen human wisdom to make our lives safer and happier.

Back to my work, I have struggled these five years. At that time, ALTA was born to help ALB interface LTspice to capture circuit schematics and perform simulations w/o expensive vendor tools. Since then, ALB/ALTA has evolved much and became a compact circuit design environment in five years. Recently opensource QUCS/XYCE is available from ALTA as a replacement (or complementary) to LTspice. Various tools have been integrated w/ ALTA to store design data in ALB.

Recently (on 3/8), I have made a presentation at an IEEJ workshop titled "Proposing analog LSI design support system for MakeLSI:". Here is an abstract:

In order to achieve LSI design democratization, ease of design IP re-use is a must. In addition to lowering fab and CAD cost, measurements and evaluations (including SPICE modeling) must be made easy and cheap. Design data includes not only circuit design data but also various data such as PCB and FPGA. We have been developing ALB/ALTA combined CAD system, where ALB is a web-server based design data manager, and ALTA is a companion tool which runs on local machines. Using a guitar effector LSI that we have developed recently under the MakeLSI: project, we will introduce ALB/ALTA features developed to fulfill LSI design democratization needs.

In another 5 years, I am expecting the system be accepted by many people and MakeLSI: becomes a national wide movement.

Sincerely and best regards,

Seijiro Moriyama

Posted January 5th, 2016:

Anagix Corporation will celebrate the 7th anniversary on January 7th, 2016, With analog design support technology, we will continue to pursuit low cost EDA and semiconducor design (LSI) democratization. Last year, we made a big step in the LSI democratization: Through the MakeLSI: project advocated by Prof. Akita at Kanazawa Univ., we have (together with ex-colleagues, small electric company members and a pro musician) prototyped a pure analog LSI implementing a distortion effector for electric guitars. In spite of non ideal device characteristics and low yield issue due to fabrication process, we have got a working sample with good performance. All the members were delighted when a member musician played his guitar with the LSI connected. It is amazing that individuals not belong to big companies could develop such an LSI!

We will continue to deliver low-cost EDA and various professional design supports while striking good balance between demoncratization and professional support. Your continuing support is highly appreciated.

Sincerely and best regards,

Seijiro Moriyama

Posted July 30th, 2015:

At the IEEJ workshop held in National Defense Academy of Japan (by chance, no relation to defense/armaments, etc.) on July 2nd, we had made a presentation titled, "Improving LSI design support system to manage design data consistently". The title does not imply but it is triggered by a recent Maker activity named MakeLSI: which is advocated by Prof. Akita of Kanazawa University at Tokyo Maker Fair 2014. MakeLSI:'s goal is to democratize LSI design and development. As an initial attempt, Prof. Akita and other volunteers have designed a multi-chip LSI using Kitakyusyu's 2um CMOS process which includes various 'my own ICs'. The fabrication will start this August and chip delivery will be in October. We have designed a pure-analog guitar effector, expecting to hear how distortion will be like with the 2um process. It is crucial that we have not used expensive vendor tools. Instead, we have used FLOSS (Free-Libre Open Source Software) Tools to design the LSI.

Here is the abstract for the paper:

In order to achieve LSI design democratization, lower cost fab and CAD are not sufficient – it is necessary to make changes in all phases; even measurements (including SPICE modeling) must become easy and cheap. Design IP re-use must be accelerated as well. Design data includes not only circuit design data but also various data such as PCB and FPGA. We have been developing ALB/ALTA combined CAD system, where ALB is a web-server based design data manager, and ALTA is a companion tool which runs on local machines. To meet LSI design democratization needs, we have been improving ALB/ALTA so that it can handle design data consistently. In the paper, some details and future plans will be presented.

For MakeLSI:, we would like to promote use of QUCS + XYCE for analog circuit design which is expected to replace LT's proprietary free tool.

Sincerely and best regards,

Seijiro Moriyama

Posted February 12th, 2014:

At an IEEJ workshop to be held in Kanagawa Univ., Japan on March 6-7, 2014, I will be making a presentation on our recent activities.

The presentation title is: "Open source system analysis software application proposal in an analog circuit CAD". Semiconductor circuits have been too much focused on mass production products. By reducing fabrication cost (including design cost and CAD cost) significantly, long tail in semiconductor products (i.e. small production volume) will become economically feasible, thus more products can benefit from semiconductor technology. On the other hand, designers will be able to enjoy productive design jobs (especially analog design). In order to achieve high value added in semiconductors, It is critical to make semiconductor circuit as a key component in electronics products. This is why I believe now is the time for circuit designers to rely more on analysis tool like Scilab/Xcos. The abstract is as below:

In analog circuit design, it is vital to optimize design specifications for constituent blocks under available fabrication process and operating conditions. Even though Matlab(Simulink) may be suited for the process as a system tool, use is limited due to excessive cost. In the paper, we will show an example case where an open source alternative Scilab(Xcos) can achieve the same goal. Scilab(Xcos) has been integrated in the Web-based ALB/ALTA environment to ease design data management and design document creation for effective information sharing and design reuse.

Make sense? If you are interested, please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely and best regards,

Seijiro Moriyama

Posted September 9th, 2013:

At an IEEJ workshop to be held in Nara, Japan on Oct, 3-4, 2013, I will be making a presentation on our recent activities.

The presentation title is: "Computer-aided circuit design system issues in an analog technology focused IC design eco-system". I have been thinking that Eco-system is just a marketing jargon, but as I get more serious about IC design business in Japan, it turned out that Eco-system is a must for us to survive. The abstract is as below:

Our goal is to realize an eco-system for IC design community to create exciting analog design jobs. A CAD system (ALB/ALTA) has been developed to serve as a common platform for the community. The utilization of free or open source software is desirable for wide acceptance, but total cost for users was not as low as expected. In order to lower efforts to deliver and install ALB/ALTA software at user site, Chef DevOps tool has been applied. Another topic covered is a method to guarantee simulation accuracy of free/open source tool like LTspice and QUCS against the de-facto standard tool like Cadence's ADE

Make sense? If you are interested, please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely and best regards,

Seijiro Moriyama

Posted October 12th, 2012:

The reconstruction from the disaster may look slow, but the progress has been made steadily by many diligent people. Compared with their efforts, I should be ashamed of my indolence. Since my previous post (more than one year ago), I have spent lots of

time to make ALTA more usable. But outcome is not so much. Out of the limited fruitful results: ALTA is no longer just a tool assistant. It is now a core of the compact analog design environment, which supports simulation planning (versatile sweep analysis), corners analysis and global optimization.

Here is an abstract from the recent presentation at IEEJ workshop held in Kumamoto, Japan on Oct, 4-5, 2012:

"The author is developing an analog circuit design environment which aims to facilitate design collaboration among

universities and companies. ALTA (Anagix Local Tool Assistant) is a software developed for the purpose. Together with personal tools like LTspice, It provides designers with a compact and handy circuit design environment on their PCs. It makes simulation planning or versatile sweep analysis easy to develop, as well as developing various graphs

by a unique GUI (Graphical User Interface). A well-known open source global optimization tool ASCO has been modified to integrate with ALTA."

Apart from ALTA developments, I have worked with clients to improve ALB so that it can convert PDKs (developed for Spectre) to support LTspice. Several PDKs have been converted successfully. More strictly speaking, clients can use ALB to convert PDKs successfully. But it still needs manual modification sometimes, and model verification needs lots of work. My next step is to automate the process. My goal is to lower LSI design cost significantly so that more people can benefit from semiconductor technology.

Sincerely and best regards,

Seijiro Moriyama

Posted July 2nd, 2011:

Three moths have passed since the terrible earthquake and Tsunami. While being terrified by horrible disasters afterwards caused by nuclear power plants, we have concentrated on developing a new program ALTA (Anagix Local Tools Assistant) which enables PC tools like LTspice to be integrated with Web-based ALB (Anagix Library Builder). Together with AX option, Cadence design data can be mixed with ones edited by LTspice. Simulations can be performed on either Linux Workstations (with Spectreo or LTspice) or on Windows PCs with LTspice. Our future plan is to support other PC based tools as well so that design data on different systems can be made interchangeable, thus final verification can be performed on a target system.

Why and where such heterogeneous solution is needed? We believe that there are still many electronics equipments which have not benefited from semiconductor integration technology because of small production volume. There products are not attractive for conventional silicon vendors because total revenue is small. High margin chips are attractive for small design ventures, but they cannot afford to pay huge money to EDA vendors. It is imperative to lower EDA cost and fabrication cost for human beings to benefit from electronics by means of integrated circuits. Heterogeneous system can not only lower EDA cost, but also be friendly to people who have been made apart from integrated circuits design. Please let me know if you agree or not agree with my points.

Thank you and best regards,

Seijiro Moriyama

Posted January 2011:

Time flies! Two years have passed since I started Anagix. ALB(Anagix Library Builder) and AX option (Cadence Virtuoso interface) turned out useful to help designers finish analog designs so that the design can be re-used by other designers or by themselves later. It is crucially important to leave design documents with design data for advanced analog designs. However, to do so was not always possible due to high cost to make design documents because conventional analog design tools lack capabilities to develop these. ALB and AX option complement this part. ALB and AX option (now called Analog Finalizer) also make design data compact and portable.

Cadence design data can be imported to ALB via AX option. Simulation results are available on Web browsers, which can then be drag and dropped to design document being edited with a WYSIWYG editor. Design documents (slide shows ready) are instantly available to other designers. Cadence design data are stored in ALB's repository with version control. Together with ALB's unique history capability, designer can access any Cadence design version and corresponding simulation results. Analog Finalizer makes it possible to re-use advanced analog designs, and enables high value-added product development.

The Analog Finalizer will debut at EDSFair which will be held on January 27th and 28th at Yokohama. If you are interested, please let me know.

Thank you and best regards,

Seijiro Moriyama

Posted October 2010:

Since June, ALB has made big progress in two domains. One is in an interface to Cadence ADE which is a defacto standard

analog design system since 1990's. ALB's AX option made it a peace of cake to read in Spectre netlist into ALB's database.

Another one is ALB's unique capability to add documents to design data stored in ALB's database.

"Although documents are indispensable to describe designers intents in analog design, it takes long

time and requires hard work to develop these in conventional systems, where design documents and

design data sometimes do not match. Authors have been developing a Web-based Analog Design

system (ALB) which enables design and document co-development. In the report, attempts in design

documentation automation will be presented." -- this is a summary of Anagix's presentation at IEEJ's

analog design workshop which will be held at Yamanashi University in Kofu, Japan on October 28th.

Our final goal is to make design document development cost virtually zero.

Best regards,

Seijiro Moriyama

Posted June 2010:

Sorry for not having updated the English page for a long while. Anagix ALB server was made open to public in December 2009 for evaluation. Researchers and developers in analog design can freely access Anagix ALB server to share design data presented at academic activities.

ALB server has been used as a private cloud (on intranet) in a few companies and Universities in Japan.

As you might have noticed, a short ALB demo is available in the Welcome page. Feel free to contact sales@anagix.com or me via Linkedin if you are interested to try ALB by yourself.

Best regards,

Seijiro Moriyama

Posted August 2009:

Let me give you some updates on our progress. We have been developing an innovative Analog circuit design environment named ALB(Anagix Library Builder) as a Web application, featuring ease of Analog IP development and re-use. ALB will complement expensive design tools to provide designers with easy to use, in-expensive design and re-use environment.

ALB will be made available on Anagix server for free. We will sell personal and company versions for local use at very reasonable price. Anagix would like to accelerate design re-use and exchange in Analog/RF/Mixed Signal design community via ALB.

Best regards,

Seijro Moriyama

Posted April 2009:

Seijiro has a sales representative contract and a professional consulting services contract with PDF Solutions.

As of April 21st, 2009, we have presented a paper titled "Web Application Development for Analog Circuit/Device Libraries" at Karuizawa Workshop in Japan. The system aims at IP re-use, PDK SPICE model library development, and eventually SoC design automation.

Posted January 2009:

Thank you for visiting the page. I have started Anagix Corporation (located in Zushi, Japan) on January 7th, 2009. The name originated from Analog + agile + unix. As it implies, we are going to support analog integrated circuit design activities with agile software solution and services.

The company will be focused on Japan market for a while. But if you are interested in my company, please feel free to contact me through Linkedin.