May 30, 2005
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During its third quarter earnings call at the end of January Magma CEO Rajeev Madhavan, said “During the next several quarters we expect to announce new products that will further enhance our leadership over our competitors and enable us to continue that growth.” He went on to describe the Cobra project that would bring to market tools for statistical timing, interconnection synthesis, signoff timing analysis and design rule checking and layout versus schematic.
On April 4, 2005 Magma announced the availability of its next generation of design software. The products resulting from the Cobra project - which comprise Magma's 2005.03 release - include both new products and enhanced capabilities to existing Magma software, such as Blast Create, Blast Fusion, Blast Noise and Blast Plan Pro.
On April 11, 2005 Magma announced the availability of Blast DFT, its advanced test solution. Blast DFT is fully integrated within Magma's RTL-to-GDSII flow and provides comprehensive design-for-test methods including full scan, TAP and Boundary Scan insertion, Memory BIST (MBIST) and Logic BIST (LBIST).
I recently had an opportunity to speak at length with Premal Buch, General Manger of the Design Implementation Business Unit responsible for Blast Fusion products and derivatives (Prototype, Power, Rail, Noise, ). This is one of Magma's four business units. The other three are Logic Design (the front end products), Silicon Signoff (analysis products - Quartz Time and Quartz RC), and Physical Verification (the Mohave technology - Quartz DRC/LVS).
been done by a set of people who came to Magma via a couple of acquisitions of 2 to 3 to 4 person companies (VeraTest in 2002 and PDAT in 2003). Most of the work was done inside Magma. The initial seeding was outside but most of the technology has been done within the Magma framework. Another example is Mohave. Mohave was acquired very early in its infancy stage when it was just a handful of developers working on pre-alpha code. They have taken that from that stage now to a point where we are rolling it out with major foundries and partners.
The highlights of the Cobra release are
He expanded on each item.
Unified Platform Synthesis:
We have added synthesis for FPGAs and structured ASICs on top of our RTL to GDSII standard cell placement and route flow. For example, for structured ASICs have cells with very specific structures and we use our regular synthesis technology for that. However, instead of regular placement we have a special technology for placement which is more like a mapping problem than a placement problem and then we have the traditional router. For FPGAs both synthesis and the placement mapping problem are different but the routing problem is somewhat similar with very specific resources.
With Unified Synthesis on multiple platforms users can keep the same flow as they go from a prototype solution to a full volume production solution. That's really the benefit of this. The overall flow of synthesis (logical synthesis, physical synthesis, clock, placement and routing) essentially remains unchanged. You can use the same environment, the same set of scripts for very different architectures. We believe that Magma is the only vendor providing a solution which is unifying all these platforms.
Our RTL front end flow is blazingly fast. We are getting to a point where many of our customers were spending more time using third party DFT tools and trying to converge with them. Many of these tools have a major impact on the physical implementation in terms of placement and routing resources. We were getting to the point where going outside the tool to do DFT and then coming back in was just not an efficient option. With this release we have the Blast DFT product which is fully integrated into our RTL to GDSII flow and handles full scan, TAP and Boundary Scan insertion, memory BIST (built-in self-test) and logic BIST. All of that is built into our physical implementation solution.
Signoff in the loop:
a case of their being not more or less accurate but that different tools behave differently. Consequently there has been a shift in the thinking in the industry. A few years ago people used to say that we really require separate tools for implementation and signoff to make sure that one is checking the other. Now we have reached the point where everyone is looking for a single engine that is doing both implementation analysis and signoff processes simply because the effects of implementation and analysis are too closely intertwined to have them separate.
believe that you should be signing in the loop itself so that the signoff activity becomes more like a checkpoint exercise.
by construction. We are not talking about two tools which correlate very well. We are talking about the same identical engine both as an independent tool and as part of an implementation flow. That is signoff in the loop ecosystem, a tool for verification engineers standalone and a tool built into the implementation flow for the designers.
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-- Jack Horgan, EDACafe.com Contributing Editor.
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