CRITIC Transistor-Level Accuracy Helps NVIDIA Uncover Cell Timing-Model Problems
"The use of aggressive circuit techniques and advanced process technology drives a need for transistor-level accuracy, but design size and ASIC flows necessitate a cell-based timing methodology," said David Kibler, Senior Hardware Engineer at NVIDIA. "CRITIC allows us to have the best of both worlds by providing cell-based timing speed and capacity validated by transistor-level full-path simulation."
The need for detailed SPICE-level timing analysis has become particularly acute for nanometer circuits, which stretch the modeling capability of cell characterization formats. CRITIC automatically simulates nanometer effects and provides automatic path sensitization needed to enable detailed analysis.
"Automatic path sensitization is required to enable automatic SPICE-level analysis of thousands of critical paths," said Kibler. "CRITIC selects the proper worst-case sensitization for a given path timing arc, which is necessary for analysis of cells that may have multiple possible sensitizations for a given arc."
CRITIC helped NVIDIA engineers verify their custom cell timing models by providing a stage-by-stage analysis of path timing data. Using this detailed analysis, NVIDIA designers were able to identify cell timing model problems and perform associated improvements to the cell characterization flow.
"We can now time very large designs with a cell-based flow and be confident based on CRITIC results that the paths are ordered correctly," said Kibler. "This means cell modeling inaccuracies are uncovered that might not have been found otherwise, and critical design resources are spent fixing the most important problems."
"Next-generation GPU designs using nanometer process technology require comprehensive transistor-level analysis while working within existing cell-based flows," said Sang Wang, CEO of Nassda. "We're pleased to work with NVIDIA in providing advanced analysis capabilities needed to ensure timing accuracy in its advanced designs."
CRITIC seeks to address the problem of inaccurate timing sign-off using traditional gate-level static timing tools, which is experienced by designers of high-performance nanometer ICs. As process geometries shrink to 130nm and below, and clock speeds exceed 500MHz, accurate timing sign-off is difficult to achieve using digital gate-level methods. Even the smallest errors in the gate-level flow accumulate to introduce a substantial timing error and if the error exceeds the designer-imposed guardband, failures at product sign-off can occur. CRITIC provides automated access to highly detailed transistor-level dynamic simulation, thereby closing the verification gap caused by gate-level methods. We believe this analysis at the post-layout stage helps reduce design turns and gets semiconductor products to market faster.
NVIDIA Corporation is a market leader in visual computing technology dedicated to creating products that enhance the interactive experience on consumer and professional computing platforms. Its graphics and communications processors have broad market reach and are incorporated into a wide variety of computing platforms, including consumer digital-media PCs, enterprise PCs, professional workstations, digital content creation systems, notebook PCs, military navigation systems and video games consoles. NVIDIA is headquartered in Santa Clara, California and employs more than 1,800 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at http://www.nvidia.com/.
Nassda Corporation is a leading provider of full-chip circuit verification software for complex nanometer semiconductors. Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, the company develops and markets simulation and analysis solutions for advanced ICs, especially for analog, mixed signal, memory, system-on-chip and high performance digital designs. Nassda's products enable first silicon success, and improve product quality and production yield for its consumer, communication, computer, and memory customers. The company has sales and distribution offices throughout the world. For more information about Nassda, please visit the company's website at http://www.nassda.com/.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. These statements relate to the characteristics, benefits, achievements and functionality of CRITIC, and involve uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual characteristics, benefits, achievements and functionality of such software to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. In some cases, you will be able to identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as "believe," "may," "will," "can" or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements are only predictions and involve risks uncertainties which could cause the actual events or results to differ materially, including, without limitation: potential errors, design flaws or other problems with CRITIC and the performance and quality of CRITIC relative to other verification software for complex semiconductors. Although Nassda believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, it cannot guarantee future performance or achievements. In addition, neither Nassda nor any other person assumes responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of these forward-looking statements. Nassda disclaims any obligation to update information contained in any forward-looking statement.
NOTE: Nassda is a registered trademark and CRITIC is a trademark of Nassda Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective holders.
NVIDIA is a registered trademark of NVIDIA Corporation in the United States and other countries.
Web site: http://www.nvidia.com/
Web site: http://www.nassda.com/