October 10, 2005
DIAMOND in the Rough?
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Jack Horgan - Contributing Editor

by Jack Horgan - Contributing Editor
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On September 17, 2005 EverCAD Corporation, a private EDA firm specializing in advanced circuit simulation & analysis tool suite for analog, mixed signal, and SOC designs, announced the availability of its new DIAMOND product line. DIAMOND stands for Digital Analog Macro-oriented verification ONDemand. DIAMOND is a state-of-art mixed-signal verification tool for the comprehensive verification of full-chip mixed-signal system-on-chip (SoC) designs. EverCAD has appeared at the several industry tradeshows such as DAC and the Embedded Systems, EDA & Test Conference. However the newsroom section of its own website does not list anything since last November, not even the DIAMOND announcement.
Web searches reveal little.

I had a chance to speak with Dr. Pole Shang Lin, CEO and President of EverCAD Navigator Company. The material below is based upon that conversation and various written materials provided by the firm.

Dr. Lin received the B.S. and Ph.D. Degrees in electrical engineering from the National Chiao-Tung University, Republic of China. After teaching electronics at the Chinese Army Communication School, he entered the Electronic Research and Service Organization, the Industrial Technology Research Institute. He led the section project of TCAD in submicron project and engaged in the research and development of semiconductor device modeling. This later became a part of Vanguard. He then became Director of TCAD at Silicon-Based Technology Corp. In 1998, he joined the EverCAD Software Corp. as the general manager and the project leader. In 2001, he became CEO of EverCAD Navigator Corp., the
US subsidiary of EverCAD Software Corp.

EverCAD was founded in 1998. It is a private, self-funded company. The firm has 20 people overall split between Fremont, California and the Science-Based Industrial Park in Hsin-Chu, Taiwan, R.O.C. The installed base consists of approximately 70 customers with over 200 licenses sold. The customers are in the US and in Asia. Among these customers are UMC, Cisco, LSI Logic, MediaTek, Chartered Semi, Mstar Semiconductor, InProComm, Faraday Technology, SiS, Archband Labs and Silicon Bridge.

The company sells direct in the US and Taiwan and through distributors in Korea and Japan. EverCAD has no customers as yet in mainland China. Protection of intellectual property rights is a concern in that country.

ADiT-Turbo is an all-in-one advanced circuit simulation tool suite for full chip and SoC designs in analog, mixed mode, and multi-level environment. It features revolutionary single engine architecture, coupled with a superior set of user-friendly, accuracy, speed and performance. With partition algorithm and simplified matrix solver, ADiT-Turbo can simulate large circuit with simulation speed 10X~ 100X faster than that of SPICE.
ADiT-Spice is an advanced SPICE solver with charge conservation model and non-quasi static effect designed to yield supreme accuracy. ADiT-Spice uses built-in table-look-up MOSFET model designed to result in 3X faster speed while keeping close-to-SPICE accuracy.

ADiT-MOT is a macro-oriented technology used for full-chip circuit simulation, e.g. DRAM, SRAM, flash, CAM andLCD drive. ADiT-MOT will verify your design with 100X to 1000X faster than that of SPICE with analog accuracy and quality. With ADiT-MOT's high-speed MOT algorithm, Giga-size transistor-level simulations are possible.

ADiT-HDL is a HDL solver that has been specifically designed for SoC and mixed-signal designs. Because it is based on single-kernel technology with ADiT-Turbo and ADiT-MOT, the mixed-signal simulation result is very accurate.

ADiT-VPI (Verilog Procedural Interface) supports seamless integration of ADiT simulator with VCS, NCVerilog, Verilog-XL and ModelSim. Users are allowed to specify the D/A and A/D interfaces with ease and it is perfect solution for SoC designs.

AView is designed to be a simple and intuitive interactive post-simulation analysis tool. Analog, digital and mixed-signal engineers can now use same waveform analyzer to analyze analog/digital signals in a single tool.

ADiT-FLI (Foreign Language Interface) combines the powerful electrical engines of ADiT-SPICE, ADiT-Turbo, and ADiT-MOT, for SPICE design, with ModelSim's VHDL simulator.

ADiT-AMS: High Performance High Capacity Mixed Language (e.g. SPICE, Verilog, VHDL, Verilog-AMS) Simulator.
EverCAD offers ADiT in an OEM package, although Dr. Lin would not identify any current customers.

DIAMOND is designed for circuit level verification of designs with more than a million gates, including mixed-signal, SoCs, video and network processors, DSPs' Flash, SRAM, DRAM, CAM and other memory like structures. DIAMOND's inherent strength is in its ability to accurately simulate Delta-sigma, ADC/DAC, switched-capacitor filters, PLLs, charge pumps, high-speed transceivers and large analog designs which require long simulation times when using SPICE tools.

With DIAMOND EverCAD is targeting three areas. 1) Top-Down designs which need detailed timing and power verification. 2) RAM-compiler users. 3) Complex mixed-signal SoC design engineers.

DIAMOND will be available on all major platforms including Solaris, HP-UX, Windows, and RedHat Linux including Red Hat Enterprise Edition.

Pricing for DIAMOND is around $150K. ADiT pricing was $100K to $130K depending upon the modules licensed.

Dr. Lin says that EverCAD target markets are high speed IO, power management, high-resolution AD/DA, and mixed-signal SOC design. He identified Nassda as the firm's principal competition and claimed that EverCAD provides a more accurate solution.

He believes that the major problem is interface and that interface is a purely artificial element. He believes that this is an important issue for customers and that EverCAd has solved the problem. The current approach for mixed signals between analog and digital blocks are through two A2D and D2A behavior devices. The user needs to specify some parameters such delay-time, rising-time, falling-time, driving resistance before simulation. This may cause accuracy problem for some high-speed design. DIAMONDS creates this automatically.

The product can be used for simulating small blocks during the design phase and at tapeout for full chip verification: function, timing and power.

Diamond provides a complete functional, timing and power analysis solution for analog mix signal designs verification. Our solution not only provides an easy of use environment, but also with performance and accuracy.

In particular Dr. Lin pointed to a customer success story based on Archband Labs's mixed signal design of 24bit delta sigma audio ADC with clock generator and DSP. Without using behavior models, designers can perform full-chip simulation by combining SPICE and Verilog parts together for more reliable and accurate verification. Previously analog and digital designers verified only their own piece of the design.

EverCAD has two beta sites for DIAMONDS and expects the product to be available the end of this quarter.

On the litigation front Synopsys filed two additional suits against Magma on September 26. We had covered the original suit in considerable detail in our June Editorial, entitled
Magma-Synopsys Litigation. One of the new suits is a claim of unfair competition against Magma based upon Magma's action in defending itself in the patent case, while the other deals with additional patent infringement. At least one of the patents in questions comes from Synopsys' acquisition of Monterey Design Systems.

In a September 28 press release Magma President and Chief Operating Officer Roy E. Jewell said “These actions are questionable, perhaps laughable, and indicative of an increasingly desperate strategy by Synopsys to maintain market share. They likely concluded that their current case is weak - because of validity and ownership issues, to name just two - and so are attempting to bolster it by piling on these dubious claims. We're truly disappointed to see these latest actions by Synopsys, given that the industry already suffers from a reputation for excessive litigation. He added “Candidly, I am troubled that a company that was once the leader in our industry has resorted to
these egregious tactics to defend a declining market position against an up-and-coming innovator like Magma. I can only hope this strategy is the result of a legal team out of control. “

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