Movers and Shakers
STMicroelectronics announced it has signed a license agreement for the Synchronicity Publisher Suite design reuse solution. ST says it was an early adopter of the Synchronicity Developer Suite for design management and helped guide the product's development. The company says it is adding the Publisher Suite to better manage their semiconductor IP portfolio for internal divisional use and, for the first time, for direct use by their partners.
Synplicity Inc. announced a “high-performance, high-capacity ASIC physical synthesis solution optimized for front-end designers targeting the cell-based ASIC, structured ASIC and platform ASIC markets.” The company says that the Amplify ASIC Physical Optimizer software addresses many of the unmet needs of the majority of ASIC designers. Synplicity also announced details of the Amplify RapidChip Physical Optimizer software, a single-vendor version of the Amplify ASIC software targeted specifically for LSI Logic's RapidChip platform ASIC architecture.
Also from Synplicity - The company, along with Lattice Semiconductor Corp., announced the renewal of their long-term strategic relationship by expanding the existing OEM agreement between the two companies. Under the terms of the multi-year agreement expansion, Synplicity will continue to provide Lattice customers with access to its FPGA synthesis tool as well as upgrades for current users of the Synplify Lite software to a full version of the Synplify software.
Finally from Synplicity - The company announced it has extended timing-driven performance in its FPGA synthesis software. The latest release of the Synplify Pro more easily optimizes for area after the speed goal is met. Additional optimizations have also been added, including the addition of register re-timing for Actel ProASIC and ProASIC Plus FPGAs.
Tenison EDA has announced VTOC 2, an RTL to C/C++ virtual silicon modeling tool. The company says VTOC 2 provides enhancements that draw on the experience of customers and represents an “advance in RTL modeling for software environments, giving 10x the performance of the best compiled Verilog.” The tool provides “virtual silicon” models that can be used for software/firmware co-development and system verification. Improvements are based on new optimization algorithms developed from the research of David Greaves at Cambridge University.
TriCN announced HyperTransport I/O, which use Lightning Data Transport (LDT) I/Os operating from 200MHz to 800MHz. HyperTransport is an interface specification, which can support a wide variety of products and applications, including switches, servers, workstations, consumer game consoles, and hand-held devices. The company says a recent report from International Data Corp (IDC) forecasts that the global port count for HyperTransport switch fabric will exceed 30 million ports this year, with 200 million ports forecast by 2006. HyperTransport I/O is available as a hard macro in the TSMC 0.13-micron process.
Virage Logic Corp. announced that Virage Logic will ship Magma Volcano database views as part of the Area, Speed and Power (ASAP) Logic130- and 90-nanometer cell libraries and qualify the libraries for Magma's Blast Fusion product. The companies say this is the first phase of efforts by the two companies to enable Virage Logic's semiconductor IP products in memory, logic and base I/O cells to support the Magma IC design tool solutions. Virage Logic will roll out support and qualification for the other Magma products based on customer demand.
Coming soon to a theater near you
Advanced Reticle Symposium (ARS) - This is the 9th annual meeting hosted by Synopsys and is described as “the only forum dedicated to addressing the business and technology issues of advanced photomasks.” Organizers say this year's program will focus on the integration of the design-to-silicon processes necessary to facilitate production at 90-nanometers and beyond. There will be a keynote from Photronics' Dan Del Rosario, and various papers from semiconductor manufacturers, EDA vendors, photomask manufacturers, and semiconductor materials and equipment suppliers. Supporting sponsors for this year's symposium include Cadence, FEI, KLA-Tencor, Microlithography World Magazine, Photronics, Solid State Technology Magazine, SPIE and Ultratech Stepper.
A new magazine - It's certainly noteworthy that a new EDA-centric magazine is being launched. Extension Media has announced Chip Design, a print magazine “targeted at engineers and engineering managers developing advanced semiconductor designs,” which will be on newsstands as early as September 2003. The magazine is scheduled to be published every other month and will also have an on-line version - good news for those who have migrated away from print copy. Tets Maniwa, has been named Editor-in-Chief. When I spoke to him last week, he said, “This industry has been looking for something to fill the space that was left by the closing of ISD. Since the design community is moving towards new tools, the need for more information is greater than it was in the recent past.”
Tets spent many years in applications engineering, marketing, and sales before serving with distinction at ISD Magazine, both as Editor and Chief Evangelist for that platform. (Of course, I'm sure he'd be happy to agree that the highlight of his tenure at ISD was teaching me the publishing business!) After The Verecom Group sold ISD to Miller Freeman, Miller Freeman bought CMP, CMP became the brand name for ISD, and Tets moved over to the web to help debut CMP's EEdesign - he then moved to Penton to help launch Netronics Magazine, guiding it through several stormy years in technical publishing.
Tets has a BSEE from U.C. Berkeley and an MBA from St. Mary's College. Coincidentally, Tets was an EE classmate of my husband's at Cal - in fact, they graduated the very same year. It's probably safe to assume, however, that when Tets was in school, he was far too busy studying analog design to associate with anyone in the digital domain. More's the pity that Tets isn't out working today as an analog designer, when there's such a shortage of engineers in that field. Nonetheless, we'll certainly all be watching as this new project unfolds for him.
Ansoft Corp. and Virginia Tech's Future Energy Electronics Center (FEEC), a part of the ECE Department, announced a join effort to develop new, efficient power-electronics technology and graduate curriculum based on Ansoft's software for physics-based system simulation. Dr. Jih-Sheng (Jason) Lai, Director of the FEEC, said, “The software provides the advanced capabilities needed for forward-thinking research. The ability to simulate power-electronic circuits, digital/analog controls and electromechanical components within a single integrated environment is extremely powerful and accurate.” The FEEC's current research focuses on several alternative energy power-generation applications, including fuel-cell-powered vehicles, DC/DC and DC/AC power conversions and electromagnetic interference (EMI). As part of their coursework, graduate students at FEEC must complete selected electronic-design projects related to these technologies using several Ansoft EM and Signal Integrity products.
Apache Design Solutions announced new agreements with EDA distributors in Asia, Japan, India, and the U.S., in response to the increased customer demand for the company's RedHawk-SDL and NSPICE products. Keith Mueller, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, said “Asia and Japan are recognized as the fastest-growing market for high-technology semiconductor and IC products. By partnering with the premium EDA distributors and providing local dedicated support, Apache is committed to ensuring the long-term success of its customers worldwide.” Apache has appointed KeyBridge, Inc. as its Japanese distributor, EE-Solutions for Taiwan, Advinno Technologies for Southeast Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and The Philippines), and Ammos Software Technologies in India. All of these companies provide local support for their respective markets.
Interra Systems, Inc. announced today a certification program for EDA tools. The company says the certification program will helps EDA tool vendors and SoC/ASIC designers comply with emerging standards. The company says, “Designers are increasingly demanding high-quality interoperable EDA tools that are built to most recently released industry standards. Under pressure, EDA solution providers end up releasing their products prematurely and designers have become reluctant testers of EDA tools during their design process. Interra's certification program has been created to assist EDA solution providers and end users evaluate quality and compliance of EDA products to meet their expectations.”
Tera Systems announced it has partnered with ED&C, Ltd. as its regional representatives in Korea. ED&C will provide local business, sales, and marketing development and support to major semiconductor companies.
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