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Posts Tagged ‘SoC’

Atrenta buys NextOp

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012





Atrenta Accelerates Growth in Front End Design with Acquisition of NextOp Software, Inc.

 SpyGlass design productivity enhancements expanded to functional verification for semiconductor and consumer electronics developers

SAN JOSE, Calif — June 20, 2012 — Atrenta Inc., a leading provider of SoC Realization solutions for the semiconductor and electronic systems industries, today announced  that it has acquired NextOp Software, Inc., a leading provider of assertion synthesis technology. Atrenta’s products focus on improving efficiency and reducing cost for the design of complex semiconductor IP and system-on-chip (SoC) devices while NextOp’s products focus on improving efficiency and reducing cost for the functional verification of IPs and SoCs. The combination of both company’s products creates a more complete SoC Realization platform.

The acquisition of NextOp allows Atrenta to expand its de-facto standard SpyGlass® register transfer level (RTL) platform to include functional verification — an important and costly component of advanced SoC design.  Utilizing patented static and formal analysis techniques, the SpyGlass platform currently provides RTL design efficiency improvements in the areas of linting, clock synchronization, power optimization, testability, timing constraints and physical routing congestion. The SpyGlass platform will now be expanded to include functional verification support using NextOp’s patented dynamic assertion synthesis technology, resulting in verification efficiency improvements for semiconductor and consumer electronics developers.

“The addition of NextOp’s functional verification technology will give our customers a distinct advantage by providing complete coverage of front end design activities,” said Dr. Ajoy Bose, chairman, president and CEO of Atrenta. “Atrenta’s customers have come to rely on SpyGlass to verify a broad range of design intent, but functional verification was a missing part of our platform. NextOp’s assertion synthesis completes this part of our offering – Atrenta customers will now have added confidence that their designs will work as expected while meeting schedule and performance requirements. We are very excited to bring these innovative solutions and the resulting expanded benefits to our large customer base. ”

“Atrenta is one of the largest private EDA companies,” said Dr. Yunshan Zhu, president and CEO of NextOp Software.  “NextOp has pioneered assertion synthesis technology. Our tool is now widely deployed in production at multiple tier 1 customers – many of whom also use SpyGlass. Atrenta’s world-class field operation will further accelerate the mainstream adoption of assertion synthesis.”

“I’ve heard good things about NextOp’s verification technology from some impressive customers – the combination of Atrenta’s RTL design and NextOp’s RTL verification technology will improve the entire SoC Realization process,” said Jim Hogan, EDA industry veteran and private investor. “I’m also glad to see private/private acquisitions like this happening again after such a long dry spell. Atrenta could be leading a trend in renewed growth for the EDA sector.”

“With the acquisition of Magma there has been renewed talk about a roll-up in the middle of the EDA community,” saidGary Smith, founder and chief analyst for Gary SmithEDA.  “The most obvious candidates are the RTL sign-off tool vendors, and the most talked about driver, of the roll-up, has been Atrenta.  This could be the start of something big, and NextOp was an excellent place to start.”

NextOp’s BugScope assertion synthesis tool will be sold and supported by the combined Atrenta/NextOp worldwide field organization. Dr. Yunshan Zhu will assume the role of vice president, new technologies reporting to Dr. Ajoy Bose. Dr. Yuan Lu, co-founder and CTO of NextOp will assume the role of chief verification architect reporting to Dr. Zhu.  Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

About Assertion Synthesis

Assertion synthesis leverages design and test bench information to automatically generate high quality assertions and functional coverage properties.  Generating assertions and coverage properties manually is tedious and error-prone. Assertions represent a machine-readable version of design intent and are used to improve verification completeness. Functional coverage properties identify functional coverage deficiencies providing guidance for verification teams. When used together, design teams can reduce functional verification time and improve overall functional coverage, resulting in lower design costs, better first-time silicon success and improved quality.

About Atrenta

Atrenta’s SpyGlass® Predictive Analysis software platform significantly improves design efficiency for the world’s leading semiconductor and consumer electronics companies. Patented solutions provide early design insight into the demanding performance, power and area requirements of the complex system on chips (SoCs) fueling today’s consumer electronics revolution. More than two hundred companies and thousands of design engineers worldwide rely on SpyGlass to reduce risk and cost before traditional EDA tools are deployed. SpyGlass functions like an interactive guidance system for design engineers and managers, finding the fastest and least expensive path to implementation for complex SoCs.  SpyGlass from Atrenta: Insight. Efficiency. Confidence.

About NextOp Software

NextOp Software, Inc. is focused on delivering assertion-based verification solutions that allow design and verification teams to uncover bugs, expose functional coverage holes, and increase verification observability. NextOp’s BugScope assertion synthesis is the first product to automatically generate whitebox assertions and functional coverage properties in SVA, PSL and Verilog formats. BugScope’s properties are used to drive progressive, targeted verification via robust, executable design specifications for existing simulation, formal and emulation flows. The company is headquartered at2900 Gordon Avenue, Suite 100,Santa Clara,CA95051. For more information, visit or call +1 408-830-9885.


© 2012 Atrenta Inc. All rights reserved. Atrenta, the Atrenta logo and SpyGlass are registered trademarks of Atrenta Inc. BugScope and NextOp are trademarks of NextOp Software, Inc. All others are the property of their respective holders.

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Atrenta disclaims any obligation and does not undertake to update or revise the forward-looking statements in this press release.




Lee PR does work for Atrenta


ICScape got $28M funding, exhibits for first time at DAC

Friday, May 25th, 2012


Named by industry observers as “the biggest EDA company you’ve never heard of” and “a rare and endangered species” of EDA companies, ICScape will bolt out of stealth mode to exhibit at DAC for the first time.

Founded in 2005 by Steve Yang and Jason Xing, the company’s been busy over the last year.  How?  Merging with analog EDA vendor Huada Empyrean Software (HES), getting that US$28M infusion to fund global R&D, customer support and sales expansion, and working on OpenAccess-based product lines that we’ll probably see in some integrated form toward the end of 2012.

ICScape’s booth will greet attendees right at the entrance to the exhibit floor, in Booth 1602.   The company’s executives will be there to:

1)  talk about its technology,

2)  introduce current customers (a major silicon valley Fabless IC company and a major Silicon Valley analog device company) who will also be available at the booth to share firsthand experience,…..and

3)  ensure that ICScape will be one of the EDA names that all of you will have heard of.

See what Paul McLellan,  Mike Demler and  Brian Bailey have to say about ICScape:—ICScape

See you at DAC!



Note:  Lee PR does work for ICScape.

Predictions 2012 – Persistence of Memory

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

To finish off our series of predictions, I would like to point you to another series of interesting and informative prophesies.  Click on the following topics to see these predictions collected by Brian Bailey, Editor of EDA DesignLine.

Industry Trends



IP and Physical Design

The Bold Prediction for EDA


A big THANK YOU from Ed & me (Liz) to all who shared their eye opening predictions with us.  Click on their names to see their predictions.  Mike Gianfagna, Karen Bartleson, Paul McLellan, Jens Andersen, Bob Smith, Steve Schulz, Mathias Silvant, Herb Reiter, Max Maxfield, Chris Edwards, John Barr.


Only time will tell……


The Persistence of Memory, 1931, Salvador Dali


Predictions 2012 – Barr on Big…Semi, Foundry, EDA

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

In 2012, we’ll see tablets and smartphones changing the world.  That’s another way of saying Apple’s moves will have huge implications in semiconductors, foundries and EDA.

Apple’s use of the Samsung foundry has started an arms race between Samsung, TSMC and Global Foundries.  Samsung is ramping up to meet the capabilities and capacity of TSMC.  Intel is being pushed to stay ahead technologically and to consider new business models. Global Foundries continues to work to ramp its yields.

This situation will be good for semiconductor equipment and EDA vendors as well.  Their tools will facilitate the new processes and the link between design and manufacturing.

Another element: in 2012, we’ll see the supply chain continue to consolidate. Why?  The cost to design a complex SoC requires a big budget and a big market opportunity.  Only the largest of semiconductor companies can tackle these designs.  This increasing cost helps the FPGA vendors.

The foundries face increasing technology and capital requirements to move to new process nodes.  Only a few will make it.

The public markets have been closed to EDA companies for a number of years making acquisition the most likely exit for EDA startups.  Apache chose to be acquired by Ansys in 2011.  It has been difficult for a new, large EDA competitor to emerge.  This bodes well for Big EDA in its negotiations with Big Foundry and Big Semiconductor.  In 2012 I believe there are several EDA companies poised to go public.

Who will be the beneficiary of these changes in 2012?  Apple.  Consumers should also benefit as new, leading edge fab capacity will be used to make exciting new devices.

John Barr
Portfolio Manager
Needham Aggressive Growth Fund
Needham Growth Fund

445 Park Avenue
New York, NY  10022
(212) 705-0462


Predictions 2012 – Power Optimization at EDA Forefront, Radiation Tolerance at 28nm

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

On the ASIC/SoC side of the fence: Reducing power consumption is becoming increasingly important — I anticipate that this is the year that power will finally come to the forefront of EDA tools — I know that they optimize for power now, but largely as a second thought — like synthesis, for example, optimizes first for area and timing and then for power – I think we’ll see a move to optimize for power as a primary consideration.

On the FPGA side of the fence: As we move to the 28nm node and below, radiation is increasingly of concern with regard to electronic devices. It’s no longer just of interest for aerospace applications — at these low device geometries, radiation can affect chips in terrestrial applications. FPGAs are particularly susceptible because in addition to their normal logic and registers and memory cells they also have configuration cells. In the past, the only radiation-tolerant FPGAs were antifuse based — but these are only one-time-programmable (OTP) and trail the leading edge technology node by one or two generations. SRAM-based FPGAs offer many advantages in terms of reconfigurability and being at the leading edge of technology, but they are more susceptible to radiation events in their configuration cells. My prediction is that we will see more and more efforts from FPGA chip vendors and EDA tool vendors with regard to creating radiation-tolerant designs.

On the personal side of the fence: I predict that people will come to realize that what the world needs is a book about creating radiation-tolerant electronic designs that can be read and understood by folks who DO NOT have a PhD in nuclear physics – a book that is of interest to the people who design silicon chips (both analog and digital), the people who create EDA tools, the companies who manufacture the chips, and even software engineers (have you heard of “radiation tolerant software”?). I further predict that someone will finally realize that I am the best person to write this book and will approach me with a really great sponsorship deal that will bring tears of delight to my eyes :-)

Clive “Max” Maxfield
Maxfield High-Tech Consulting
Editor, Programmable Logic DesignLine, EE Times


Predictions 2012 – Wither Magma?

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

One lingering question for 2012 is what will become of the Magma back-end platform?  I predict that Synopsys will phase out the Magma Talus platform in favor of ICC.  Why? It makes no sense for Synopsys to continue to field and support two different systems although it is likely that there will be some transfer of technology into ICC.  Converting the existing Talus user base over to ICC is no small task and will likely take several years to complete as well as require incentives and utilities to move the existing base over to the Synopsys platform.

Timing verification is another story. Synopsys will capitalize on the acquisitions of Extreme and Magma to leverage the technologies in those products to develop and deliver the next generation PrimeTime platform. Once they complete this, they will have re-solidified their position as the industry golden standard in static timing verification.

It will be very interesting to see how the consumer-driven SoC market will evolve.  SoCs used to be comprised of a processor, memory, various IP blocks, and the on-chip infrastructure needed to support them such as clock, power and communications channels.  Now SoCs have multiple processors, large numbers of IP blocks, multiple on-chip communications channels and multiple memories. In essence, today’s SoCs are comprised of multiple SoCs as we used to define them.

The 2012 SoC will beget big challenges in design and even more so in verification. IP will become more important.  And even though hardware performance and power will matter, system design and software will become the differentiating items.

SoC system design and verification will be especially active, because it is what the system does that really counts.   (After all, the point of building an SoC is to deliver a winning end product.) To a great extent that will require a huge software and verification effort — under the schedule pressures that come from a hugely competitive consumer products market.

Bob Smith
Industry Consultant



Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

I recently chatted with Gabe Moretti, editor-in-chief of GABE on EDA, where he shared some of his thoughts on the business of EDA and EDA publishing.


Liz: You weren’t always in publishing.  You have over 30 years in EDA tool development, along with EDA senior management roles.  Then you went into electronics editorial.  You’ve written for many of the surviving publications.  If I remember correctly, you were at EDN, EE Times, EDA Café, DACazine.   Why did you go into electronics editorial?

Gabe: After Mentor acquired VeriBest there was no immediate open position at Mentor that satisfied my career goals, so I left.  I could then re-evaluate my role within the industry and try something new.  EDN convinced me that I was the person they were searching for to cover EDA.  It sounded like a good opportunity to try something new and something that would have very little negative impact on my career in the short term if I were not successful.  That was eleven years ago, and I am still doing it, albeit in a very different way.   At EDN I was a full time employee.  All the other “jobs” were actually consulting assignments.  DACezine was a very interesting experiment that did not last because the DAC executive committee that changes every year never found a fiscal model for the publication.

Liz: What led you to publish your own?

Gabe: As you know the publishing industry is going through a revolution.  Before the introduction of “social media” a relatively small number of chosen professionals were the source of information and editorial.  They were employees of corporations with a tradition in print media that were very able to generate a profit from the industry.  The on-line publishing world has radically changed that, and publishing corporations are still struggling to understand the profit making mechanism, assuming there is one.

So I decided to try a new model and see how it compares with the rest.  It is actually too soon to know, but I think it is worth the investment.  I believe that one thing is already proven: on line publishing cannot sustain the organizational overhead that print publishing has.

Liz: Tell us a little bit about GABE on EDA.

Gabe: GABE on EDA is my umbrella business, and my main web page.  At this point there are three separate ventures under it.  One is EDAMarket, the model I referred to in my previous answer.  EDAMarket is an experiment in financial terms, not in content form.  It attempts to answer the question: is there an alternative to advertisement sales (sponsorships are just another form of advertisement) to support an information channel?  I looked at selling individual subscriptions, but in an environment where distributing copies of copyrighted material is unfortunately becoming the norm, I did not find the model compelling.  So EDAMarket is supported through an annual corporate subscription.  The corporate subscribers get privileged coverage and an alternative source to their messaging.

The newsletter Assembling The Future is the second activity.  As the name implies, the subjects covered are forward looking.  Contributions are open to anyone.  Present conditions are only taken as the starting point for a projection of what the industry needs and were it can be in the next five years.

The third activity is my consulting.  At this point it is still in the startup phase, but I hope to grow it.  It will be my channel to more directly impact the progress in our industry.

Liz: What is the focus of your consulting business?

Gabe: I am helping companies with strategic marketing plans and tactical product positioning.

Liz: What is unique about GABE on EDA, and who is your target audience?

Gabe: Even when I was in charge of engineering projects I always had an eye toward the business aspect of the project.  After all, I chose engineering because it was a more secure avenue to a US citizenship than finance.  Luckily I have found that I can be successful doing a number of things.  GABE on EDA takes advantage of my business degree, my Computer Science degree, and my training in writing (thanks to attending Italian schools that emphasized composition and independent thinking).

I think that the uniqueness of GABE on EDA rests on its target audience.  My readers are executives and senior management professionals, as well as designers that are interested in the business aspect of their industry.  I am a firm believer that methods are more important than tools, and that tools are developed and sold in order to generate a profit.

Liz: You’ve been witness to a lot of change in the EDA publishing industry.  What direction do you think EDA & IP media will take?  In 5 years?  10 years?

Gabe: As I said before this is a difficult question to answer.  I think that the final choice will rest on the quality of the content developed within a specific financial model.  The audience, after all, is interested in information, not data.  Too often we confuse the two and equate data to information.  Although reliable and accurate data is necessary to generate information, the latter is the more valuable commodity in a world that is increasingly competitive and short of time.

Liz: I think we do equate data and information.  How do you define each of them and can you explain the difference between the two?

Gabe: Data is a collection of raw items that require analysis in order to become information.  As an example data is: there has not been any hurricane in Florida since 2004.  Information is: due to new weather patterns in the upper atmosphere a system of high pressure has been reasonably stationary over Florida during hurricane season, building a barrier around the region to the air movements conductive to hurricanes.

Liz: In other words, information is more than just raw data, and it is valued much more by the public if it is given with some trusted analysis.  How do you expect EDA publishing to evolve?

Gabe: I think the winning strategy will be based on the electronic delivery of information at a profit.  There is so much excitement about free stuff: open source is a perfect example of the deterioration of the capitalistic system, and the publishing world has in many ways gone open source, meaning that there are many publications, now called blogs, to choose from and almost all of them free.  Yet, authors, like engineers, need to make money to live and pursue happiness.  I think the evolution of electronic publishing will depend in large part, not from the publishing industry but from a new model of the internet that recognizes intellectual property as separate from generic data.

Liz: Speaking of delivering information for profit, what about pay for play?  What is pay for play? How close are we to total pay for play?  Is it good or bad for the industry?

Gabe: I am a bit surprised that the term “pay for play” is part of the description of a way to use electronic publishing.  Pay for play has always been around, even during the paper only era.  Certainly I experienced it since I joined the publishing industry.  To be sure some organizations, EDN for one, kept advertising separate from content generation organizationally, but you had to be a moron not to understand that subjects were covered only because they generated advertising revenue.  If you need an example close to home, look at the amount of coverage the EDA industry receives today in for-profit publications that cover the electronic industry.  Why has it gone down?  The answer you get from every publisher is: EDA vendors do not advertise.

Liz: [raises eyebrows] That’s interesting.

Gabe: Again, there must be a profit or professionals will not engage.  As long as it is understood that professional content is generated by people that are paid to communicate, the impact will be neutral.  Time is not free, and bloggers that write because they have free time to do so, are amateurs by definition, no matter how wise they might be.

I know that for some writers a blog is a powerful marketing tool: I realize that my website, is an indirect marketing tool for my consulting as well.  But that is not its primary intent.  Any of my endeavors will not survive unless they can justify themselves financially.

Liz: Likewise, where is the EDA industry itself going?  What are a couple of hot issues in our industry right now and what do you think will surface in the next couple of years?

Gabe: The major problem facing the EDA industry is the dwindling number of customers that can afford to use the latest process technology.  Manufacturing at 20nm and below is so expensive that most OEMs will choose not to use these processes.  Yet the EDA industry has been relying on its customers going from one process node to the next as clockwork to generate profits.  License renewals are fine but more expensive licenses for new tools are what keeps the industry going. EDA vendors must find a new financial model before it is too late.  By the way this new reality will also significantly impact startups.

A leading company like Synopsys, for example, will very soon have to address two very distinct markets: the leading edge OEMs producing high volume, high margin products, and the average OEMs targeting the price sensitive consumers market.  There will be producers of Ferrari like products, and KIA like products: both have a market, but they are built very differently and with different tools.  What is confusing now is that the tools look very similar, so people think they are and will be the same.  The EDA vendor that successfully realizes the distinction and serves the two market accordingly will be successful.  The PCB market is already using this model, you just have to look at Cadence that offers both Allegro and Orcad products to two very different segments of the PCB development market.

Liz: And here’s the big question…..EDA360 – what the heck is it and where is it going?  What do all of those realizations mean?….especially now?

Gabe: I am a fan of EDA360, and probably its first independent supporter, I have to admit.  This document is the first public admission that the EDA industry is at an inflection point and needs to understand some very important points.  The first one is the role that software plays and will play in future electronic systems.  I do not know the real reason John Bruggeman used in choosing the title of its document.  But I will tell you that the first picture in my mind was the IBM 360.  That mainframe revolutionized business computing both because of its hardware capabilities and its software tools.  The message of EDA360 is that our industry must not only be aware of the heterogeneous systems electronics are part of, but that it must offer application oriented solutions that make it more efficient and profitable to develop and integrate the electronics subsystem in those applications.

Liz: I see the 360 reference as meaning a complete change in thinking.  So yes, that would be revolutionary. And how do the three realizations realize these solutions?

Gabe: The “realizations” are a link to the past.  No one can build a house without foundations.  The future must be anchored to the present.  So System Realization takes an idea to a design, SoC realization transforms the design into the representation of an electronic product, and Silicon Realization prepares the product for manufacture.  Are these the same steps we will need a few years from now?  In general yes, but the contents of the steps will be different.

Liz: Anything in the offing for Gabe or GABE on EDA?

Gabe: Not immediately.  I think that EDAMarket, Assembling The Future, and my consulting activities cover the directions I would like to go.  But I am very pragmatic, so I will change as the industry changes and hopefully I will play some role in the changes, both in the publishing world and, more importantly for me, in the EDA world.

Liz: Gabe, I have no doubt that you will continue to play a vital role in delivering “information” as the EDA industry evolves.

Gabe Moretti is a recognized expert in all aspects of the EDA industry, with over thirty years of experience developing EDA tools spanning the range from design capture to chip layout. Gabe has also worked on the development of numerous industry standards and has held senior management positions with EIS Modeling, HDL Systems, and Intergraph/Veribest.  Since 2000 Gabe has been covering the EDA industry as a writer and editor first with EDN Magazine and now with GABE on EDA.



Finding Love at DAC… Atrenta

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

You saw the trailer……



Are you curious what happened next….whether this young man found love… DAC?  In case, you missed it – here’s the rest of the story……


BTW the CTO of the SoC Realization Company expresses his views on the future of the technology and business of EDA and what’s needed in EDA tools in this video on System-Level Design…..



Full Disclosure: Lee PR works for Atrenta.


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Hogan & McLellan….show you the money

Friday, May 27th, 2011

How are you going to



Get the answers from noted EDA & IP investor Jim Hogan and Paul McLellan – industry pundit and editor-in-chief of DAC Knowledge Center – as they define the new path to prosperity in EDA & IP.

Jim and Paul will give a short presentation and steer an audience-oriented discussion on what direction startups and established companies in the EDA & IP space ought to steer if they want to show their investors the money.

What direction? SOC Realization…no longer just a vision.  It’s the sweet spot in EDA & IP – where to invest and where to anchor your EDA/IP startup.    So if you are contemplating starting up or re-igniting a company in the EDA & IP space, this session will help you think about how your technology will analyze and verify design concepts much earlier in the design process…at much higher levels of abstraction than before.

Where’s the opportunity? SoC Realization as a cockpit to guide a design from concept to implementation, ensuring that the design is synchronized for both the hardware and software aspects of the system’s functionality.

What’s the upshot?
These changes in the SoC Realization supply chain will alter the 1) relative values of the chain’s components and 2) ability to leverage that value into profit. SoC Realization will revalue every entity in EDA & IP – the company you want to start up, or the one you’re working for.

When: Monday, June 6, 10-11am

Where: DAC, Room 24A

Please RSVP: Liz Massingill,

For more information, contact Liz @ 831-345-4702


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