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Archive for February 14th, 2013

Does Extreme Performance Mean Hard-to-Use?

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

I must admit that I am having a blast seeing all the Field reports that mention prospective customers’ impressions of Real Intent’s Ascent Lint product— three in just the past week. The typical comment is that it “easy to use and intuitive.”  As we built Ascent Lint from the ground up three years ago, usability was kept in mind starting from day one.

When deciding on both the command and the graphical user interface, I take the perspective of a user who has never used our tool before and doesn’t want to learn a new tool environment.  I pretend I want to have everything at my fingertips, just like royalty.  On the Ascent Lint engineering team, we think ahead of all the “what-if” debug scenarios so the end-user can focus on their design and fix actual problems.

The user interface is just one factor contributing to Ascent Lint being “easy to use”.  Its next generation engine delivers the highest performance and the highest capacity available in the market.  No other tool has been able to beat the speed and capacity of Ascent Lint which is up to 50X faster than other products.  It delivers an almost unbelievable runtime of less than an hour for a 450 million gate design run from chip level flat.

What does that mean in terms of usability?  Well, it means the user does NOT need to learn a new flow for next generation designs that are of hundreds of million gates.  They are free from writing complex multi-iteration hierarchical scripts to get around the limitations in tools that cannot support these designs.  It avoids the need to run multiple lint jobs at different levels of the hierarchy and eliminates the added noise that is always present when merging multiple analysis reports into a single one.  The raw performance and capacity advantages of Ascent Lint lead to significant process simplification and reduction in cost, time and resources. (more…)

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