The design of electronic integrated circuits (ICs) can be achieved at many different levels from the most detailed layout to the most abstract architectures. This survey presents an overview of recent advances in CAD tools for analog and mixed-signal ICs. Due to the increasing levels of integration available in silicon technology and the growing requirement for digital systems to communicate with the continuous-valued external world, there is a growing need for CAD tools that increase the design productivity and improve the quality of analog ICs. In today’s market, there are plenty of CAD tools, however, most of them are expensive and require high performance platforms. Selecting an appropriate CAD tool for academic use is considered as one of the key challenges in teaching Microelectronics design. In this paper, number of open-source and freeware CAD tools are presented and evaluated. Based on the objectives of the user, this paper furnishes guidelines that help in selecting the most appropriate open-source and freeware CAD tool for teaching. The paper describes the motivation and evolution of these tools and outlines progress on the various design problems involved: simulation and modeling, synthesis and optimization, layout generation and tests.
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