The Swing of Things

Week of June 30th

Colin Tattersall, Vice President of Engineering at Beach Solutions - As a founder, and now VP Engineering of a growing EDA company I never have time to read regular columns, or even read columns regularly. However, by fair means or foul your column is now a regular Monday morning read, which I always read in it's entirety. In short, congratulations on producing informative and interesting articles. Keep up the good work. Back to work now!

Week of June 23rd - A Final Word about DAC

Connie L. O'Dell, EDA Technical Marketing / Support Engineer - I appreciated your heartfelt story about the year that you didn't feel like attending DAC due to multiple life events all crashing down at once. I know many EDA people that had just such experiences in 2002/2003, and the reminder that “Cinderella doesn't *not* go to the ball” was what they needed to get motivated.

For EDA veterans like me, DAC gives evidence that there is still life and innovation in EDA, reminds us how many people we have helped before and how many friends we have made, and provides opportunity to make new contributions to the EDA community, employed or not. Thanks!

(Editor's Note - Thanks, as well, to all those who took the time to submit thoughtful and/or kind comments on a wide range of topics over this last month. It's nice to be back.)

Industry news - Tools and IP

ACAD Corp. announced that LG has selected ACAD's FinePower dynamic power and IR drop analysis tool, for the design and verification of a complex full-chip for an LG digital TV product. Under its license agreement, LG's designers used FinePower to perform analysis needed to assist in “first-pass silicon success.” The companies report that FinePower was used in conjunction with various Synopsys tools.

Ansoft Corp. announced the availability of Ansoft Designer SV, which the company describes as “a free, full-featured linear simulator for high-frequency microwave and radio frequency (RF) circuit and system design [that] provides engineering professionals and students with linear frequency-domain circuit simulation technology and a design environment that are comparable to that of the commercial version of Ansoft Designer. Design professionals can fully incorporate the linear designs they create in Ansoft Designer SV into the commercial version of Ansoft Designer and HFSS.”

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced that Artimi, which is an Ultra Wideband start-up, is “deploying a comprehensive range” of Cadence's mixed-signal. The companies say that Artimi is receiving flexible access to the Spectre, Spectre RF, BuildGates and NC VHDL tools, as well as consulting and support.

Also from Cadence - The company announced, in conjunction with Nanotron, that Cadence's services played a “key role in delivering Nanotron's nanoNET TRX RF chip design.” The Press Releases says that “Nanotron leveraged Cadence's Virtual Integrated CAD services to overcome new challenges in Nanotron's groundbreaking physical-layer (PHY) technology - nanoNET TRX RF chip design - which the company says is far more reliable and efficient than Bluetooth or WiFi in terms of bandwidth, transmission power, data rate and cost.”

From Cadence as well - Cadence and TransChip, Inc. announced that Cadence provided TransChip with ongoing support via its Virtual Computer Aided Design (VCAD) collaborative environment to develop a design flow for TransChip's TC5700 single-chip CMOS camera. Cadence supported TransChip to maintain the company's initial design environments, as well as providing layout consulting.

CoCreate Software, Inc. announced a new product, software, which the company says is a complete engineering collaboration tool that allows project team members to “conveniently manage projects, share ideas and communicate effectively among diverse product development teams and outsourcing partners.” The new product is built on Microsoft .NET technology and is available through a hosted service or a traditional licensing structure. The company says is designed for small- and medium-size businesses and workgroups where cost sensitivity has prevented them from evaluating traditional higher priced collaboration tools. includes a secure project workspace, an integrated meeting center for conducting web-based meetings, an application sharing and instant messenger utility optimized for engineering data and project teams, mark-up tools, a decision and task tracker, and a 3D model explorer for evaluating product design alternatives.

FMC SOTA Design Technology said it has adopted formal verification software from Verplex Systems Inc., and has used the software throughout the company's design flow on a variety of complex IC designs used in wired and wireless networking and storage device applications. The company says it chose Verplex's Conformal Logic Equivalence Checker (LEC) after evaluating various vendors' offerings.

IDS Software Systems, Inc. (IDS) announced that Motorola, Inc.'s Semiconductor Products Sector is “launching” IDS' dataPOWER software across SPS' semiconductor manufacturing operation for its yield management system. IDS' dataPOWER was originally installed at Motorola's Dan Noble Center in Austin, Texas in 2001. Motorola says it plans to continue to implement the IDS software in its other manufacturing facilities worldwide in upcoming quarters. Motorola also says that it spent many months evaluating a range of commercially available yield management products before choosing IDS's products, and that the IDS products replace multiple legacy systems at the Dan Noble Center.

Incentia Design Systems, Inc. announced that Toshiba Corp. has selected Incentia's TimeCraft Static Timing Analyzer (STA) for timing verification of its complex SoC designs. Toshiba and Incentia signed a multi-year agreement for widespread use of TimeCraft.

Magma Design Automation Inc. announced that HCL Technologies (HCLT) has joined the MagmaTies Design Services Partnership program. HCLT has completed several integrated circuit (IC) designs using Blast Fusion APX and Magma has validated the quality of these results. The companies say this partnership will allow Magma to expand the availability of expert design services to complement its complete, integrated RTL-to-GDSII chip implementation flow.

Mentor Graphics Corp. announced the immediate availability of the HyperLynx 7.0 tool, the latest version of the tool suite for pre- and post-layout signal integrity simulation and analysis. HyperLynx 7.0 is compatible with all major PCB layout environments and allows PCB hardware designers to predict and eliminate SI, crosstalk and electromagnetic compliance errors earlier in the design cycle. The company offers two versions of HyperLynx, HyperLynx EXT for mainstream designs with clock frequencies under 500 MHz, and HyperLynx GHz for multi-gigabit designs. HyperLynx EXT 7.0 includes new impedance planning technology, the addition of a spreadsheet-based stackup editor, expanded capabilities for differential signals, and IBIS enhancements. HyperLynx GHz 7.0 also includes support for multi-gigabit signals, SPICE models and eye diagrams.

Also from Mentor Graphics - The company announced the availability of the HyperLynx GHz RocketIO Design Kit for the Xilinx Virtex-II Pro family of platform FPGAs. The company says the design kit allows hardware design, layout, and signal integrity engineers to simulate and implement Virtex-II Pro RocketIO multi-gigabit transceivers in their PCB designs through the HyperLynx interface.

Even more from Mentor Graphics - The company announced the addition of ICassemble to Mentor's analog/mixed-signal (AMS) SoC design flow. ICassemble offers top-down floorplanning, advanced interactive and automatic routing, and chip assembly capabilities within the Mentor Graphics IC Station full-custom layout environment. ICassemble is built into the IC Station tool, with a common database and integrated user interface, which the company says allows SoC designers to plan, implement, and connect blocks within a physical layout environment and eliminate the need for data abstractions and conversions.

Novas Software, Inc. announced that Sun Microsystems, Inc. has extended their existing license for Novas' Debussy debug system. The Verdi behavior-based debug system has also been included in the agreement.

PDF Solutions, Inc. announced “successful achievement of the first milestone for the 90-nm Yield Learning Infrastructure project with TSMC. The joint project is targeted to be completed in Q4 of this year and is initially being deployed in TSMC's 300-mm Fab 12. John Kibarian, CEO of PDF Solutions, said, “TSMC is one of the market leaders and we are excited that it has selected our infrastructure for its 90-nm ramp. By characterizing TSMC's 90-nanometer process modules across a variety of design attributes, we are confident that products will yield higher and TSMC's customers will benefit. This will help accelerate the adoption of TSMC's 90-nanometer technology.”

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