ICScape not likely to announce mixed-signal EDA until end of year [from DAC 2012]
Ikutaro Kojima, Tech-On!
With the 49th Design Automation Conference ready to open tomorrow, I spoke with EDA vendor ICScape Inc (which was established in 2005) about its soon-to-be introduced mixed-signal EDA system.
The company exhibited at the 2011 January EDS Fair in January 2011 here in Japan. There, ICScape introduced back-end EDA tools for large SoC designs: e.g., for multi-corner multi-mode. Those tools are 1) “TimingExplorer,” for MCMM optimization use just before timing sign-off; 2) “ClockExplorer,” used to convert clock synthesis input to existing constraints (MCMM); 3) “Skipper,” which quickly reads huge GDS-II files; and 4) “RCExplorer,” a parasitic parameter extraction tool for analog/mixed-signal IC.
In January 2011, the same month as EDSF2011, ICScape merged with China EDA vendor Huada Empyrean Software (HES), developer of RCExplorer. The remaining three products were developed by ICScape in the pre-merger period. According to President Steve Yang, the merger is ideal and there is no post-merger overlap for products or customers. In other words, ICScape was primarily in the U.S. market for digital large-scale EDA tools, while HES was primarily in the Chinese market for analog EDA tools.
Based on OpenAccess
Both toolsets share the OpenAccess database as a platform. According to Mr. Yang, the two companies are integrating their tools into a mixed-signal IC EDA toolset: “We are developing a new system for EDA (analog-digital-mixed IC). It is almost complete, and is in the customer evaluation phase currently. We expect to formally announce this toolset in the second half of 2012.”
Aiming for big analog · small digital
ICScape will officially announce an integrated analog-digital EDA system later this year. This product is for “big analog · small digital” IC designs (where the digital circuit is a small majority of the IC that is mixed in with the analog). According to Mr. Yang, “big analog · small digital IC design is handled by one designer. These designers are asking for a single system.”
Mr. Jason Xing, Vice President of Engineering, says that the key to development of the mixed-signal EDA system was the realization that digital and analog design is not separated and that it needed to be OpenAccess based.
Jason Xing and Steve Yang
NOTE: Lee PR does work for ICScape