Gradient Design Automation and Flomerics Partner to Address Die-level Thermal Issues

Silicon design flows at 65 nm and below are becoming temperature aware to manage thermal effects on leakage current, IR drop and electromigration

SANTA CLARA, CALIF. - June 16, 2006 -Gradient Design Automation, Inc., the pioneer in full-chip thermal analysis for digital and mixed-signal integrated circuits (ICs), and Flomerics, the pioneer and leading provider of application-specific, computational fluid dynamics software for thermal design of electronics, today announced a partnership to co-develop software solutions for the IC design market. The jointly-developed solutions will allow chip designers to analyze and avoid temperature-induced electrical issues at the chip level while taking into account the effects of the package and the ambient conditions.

The new integrated software solution will be based on product platforms from both companies. Gradient's product, FireBolt, is a full-chip thermal analysis tool that enables IC designers to access temperature anywhere within a chip and to evaluate how to improve the design with respect to timing, leakages, and reliability. Flomerics' product, Flopack, is a package-level thermal analysis tool that automates model creation through wizard-driven, intelligent geometry macros (SmartParts). SmartParts produce thermal models in detailed or two-resistor and DELPHI (JEDEC-compliant) compact forms.

Together FireBolt and Flopack will form a complete silicon-to-environment thermal analysis solution that enables temperature-aware silicon design within the context of the surrounding environment that includes the package, printed circuit board (PCB) and chassis.

"This partnership will enable Flomerics to provide the most complete thermal analysis solution possible with a range of tools that support thermal design from the chip to the room. In addition, the tools are fully integrated. Data from one level can be abstracted automatically and used for design at adjacent levels, which broadens the context for thermal design." said Sherman Ikemoto, business development manager for Flomerics.

"The complexity and circuit density of digital and mixed-signal ICs are producing extreme on-chip temperature variations. If they are unknown, they'll have to be lumped into the random on-chip variations (OCV), which are also growing ominously. That and the simplistic assumption of constant die-temperature and worst-case temperature-corners are just causing the nanometer-scale chips to leave too much performance in the margins," said Bob Johnson, vice president, Gradient Design Automation. "The product we are developing with Flomerics will enable design engineers to look at accurate temperature data, evaluate their impact, and take corrective actions before tape-out."

Gradient provides thermal analysis solutions for the power-intensive and temperature-sensitive digital and mixed-signal ICs that are used in the networking, wireless, communications, computer, and consumer application segments. FireBolt integrates easily into existing IC design flows, and provides a rich set of visual analysis capabilities. For the first time, designers can have visibility into the fine-grain temperature profile throughout the design process, locate temperature hotspots, and simulate their effects on the design parameters.

About Flomerics
Flomerics is a world-leading player in the rapidly expanding field of "virtual prototyping" - the provision of software enabling engineers to test virtual models of their equipment by computer simulation before building physical prototypes. Flomerics' business model, "Design-Class Analysis", is drastically different from traditional analysis. Design-Class Analysis focuses on real engineering design problems within specific industries, and selects the appropriate analysis techniques to solve them as quickly and simply as possible. Flomerics world headquarters is in Hampton Court, United Kingdom.

About Gradient

Gradient Design Automation Inc. provides electronic design automation (EDA) software tools that solve problems due to temperature and power for nanometer-scale digital, analog and mixed-signal IC designs. The company, founded in 2003, is privately held. For more information, see

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Note to editors:
Graphic available upon request

PR for Gradient - Cayenne Communication LLC
Linda Marchant, Email Contact, 919-451-0776

Sherman Ikemoto, Business Development Manager, Flomerics Inc.
Email Contact, 408-562-9100 x802

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