Artificial Intelligence

Optimality Explorer for AI-driven optimisation

9th June 2022
James Anstee

Cadence Design Systems has announced the Cadence Optimality Intelligent System Explorer, which enables multi-disciplinary analysis and optimisation (MDAO) realisation of electronic systems.

After revolutionising simulation and delivering several products with breakthrough performance and accuracy, Cadence has focused on optimisation, first introducing the disruptive Cadence Cerebrus Intelligent Chip Explorer, and now Optimality Explorer. Leveraging similar AI technology as used in Cadence Cerebrus to yield groundbreaking results, Optimality Explorer delivers optimised designs on average 10X faster than traditional manual methods, with up to a 100X speedup realised on some designs. Optimality Explorer further extends Cadence’s system analysis leadership by delivering to market an industry first: an AI-driven, MDAO-enabled in-design multiphysics system analysis solution.

Cadence’s Clarity 3D Solver for 3D electromagnetic (EM) analysis and Sigrity X technologies for high-speed signal integrity (SI) and power integrity (PI) analyses are the first Cadence multiphysics system analysis software products to embrace Optimality Explorer. With Optimality Explorer, Clarity and Sigrity X solvers can significantly improve designers’ productivity and efficiency by enabling design teams to explore the entire design space and quickly and efficiently converge on the optimal design.

Optimality Intelligent System Explorer delivers the following benefits:

• Design insight: Enables designers to quickly determine optimum electrical performance, avoiding suboptimal local minima and maxima, while mapping variations for additional consideration and exploration of the complete design space

• Improved productivity: Empowers design engineers and teams to efficiently achieve optimised system-level designs, improving productivity by 10X on average when compared to manual, brute-force parametric table studies, with up to a 100X speedup realised on some designs

• Easy-to-use interface: Flexible use model allows customers to activate Optimality Explorer from the Clarity and Sigrity X environments for fast invocation of MDAO

• Extensible solution: Allows customers to extend AI-driven optimisation across Cadence’s multiphysics technologies to create a comprehensive computational software solution spanning simulation, optimisation and signoff “For years, optimisation at the system level has been extremely inefficient based on a human-intensive workflow of design/prototype/test/refine and eventual manufacturing,” said Ben Gu, Vice President of R&D for the Multiphysics System Analysis Business Unit at Cadence. “With Optimality Explorer’s MDAO capability, it’s now possible to perform system-level optimisation, from the IC to the package, the PCB and the system, in a fraction of the time and with Cadence’s signature gold-standard accuracy.”

Customer endorsements

“In a high-speed package design, it’s a cost and performance-effective process to optimise the design before taping out. For our DDR package optimisation process, Cadence’s Optimality Explorer-empowered Clarity 3D Solver enabled us to uncover the best parameter configuration, meeting our design criteria in a dramatically shorter time window, thereby speeding up our time to market while enabling us to deliver a higher performing solution.” – Alan Zhu, VP of Hardware at Ambarella

“The Clarity 3D Solver provided unparalleled speed and capacity with proven accuracy throughout our next-generation Kunlunxin AI chip project. We utilise Clarity 3D Solver for high-speed channel modeling and optimisation. Now, with Cadence’s Optimality Explorer, we reduced the amount of time we spent on optimising transmission line performance from hours to minutes. We were able to tune the physical parameters of a high-speed differential pair routing constraint much faster than previous methodologies. The time saved can be used to optimise other parts of our design so that all critical interfaces operate at peak performance.” – Canghai Gu, Chief Chip Architect of Kunlunxin at Baidu

“MediaTek is a leader in SerDes design and technology. The Cadence Optimality Explorer and Clarity 3D Solver allowed us to realise a 75% performance improvement for our recent 112G PAM4 SerDes project. The optimum return and insertion loss, and TDR waveforms, were determined quickly and efficiently due to Cadence’s breakthrough AI-driven optimisation, accelerating the design team’s productivity and ultimately the success of the final product.” – Aaron Yang and Howard Yin, Design Directors at MediaTek

“As an early adopter of the Cadence Optimality Intelligent System Explorer, we stressed its performance on a rigid-flex PCB with multiple via structures and transmission lines. The Optimality Explorer’s AI-driven optimisation allowed us to uncover novel designs and methodologies that we would not have achieved otherwise. Optimality Explorer adds intelligence to the powerful Clarity 3D Solver, letting us meet our performance target with accelerated efficiency.” – Kyle Chen, Principal Hardware Engineer at Microsoft


The Optimality Intelligent System Explorer is available now to select customers through early access. General availability is expected in the fourth quarter of 2022. For more information on Optimality Explorer, visit or contact your local sales office for licensing and pricing options.

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