An Engineer's Engineer Ventures out on His Own


Agilent's Connected Solutions combines Agilent ADS software and Agilent test instrumentation, as well as ADS/instrumentation connection managers, software application guides, and application notes to support design and verification applications including: measurement-based behavioral modeling, and microwave system and component verification, which takes the concepts of the RF-based verification solutions currently available and applies them to microwave applications. Additionally, Agilent intends to increase visibility and name recognition in the EDA market with further announcements in upcoming months.

Altera Corp. and Motorola Computer Group - part of Motorola, Inc. - announced that Altera's Stratix GX and Mercury FPGAs support the CompactPCI Serial Mesh Backplane (CSMB) specification, a design standard intended to facilitate development of high-bandwidth systems for enterprise, network edge, and next-generation telecom networks. Proposed by Motorola Computer Group, CSMB is a point-to-point serial interconnect scalable to more than 700Gb/s that was ratified by the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group (PICMG) as PICMG 2.20. The Stratix GX family is Altera's second-generation embedded transceiver family based on TSMC's 0.13-micron process technology with 1.5-V core voltage.

Also from Altera - The company announced that the first two Stratix GX device family members - the EP1SGX25F and the EP1SGX25D - are now sampling to select validation partners. The EP1SGX25F device has 25,000 logic elements (LEs) and sixteen 3.125-Gbps full-duplex transceivers. In addition, Stratix GX devices include dedicated dynamic phase-alignment circuitry to aid in the implementation of complex high-speed communications designs. Altera also announced that its largest available Stratix device family member, the EP1S80, has transitioned to full production status. The device, a 0.13-micron FPGA, has 79,040 LEs, 7.2 Mbits of embedded RAM, and 1,238 user I/Os.

Altium Ltd. announced the release of v1.2 of the TASKING Software Development Toolset for StarCore DSPs, a set of embedded software development tools. This is the second version of the toolset since its release in July 2002. Tests on industry standard audio/GSM codec suites show that the compiler in v1.2 of the toolset delivers an increase in execution speed between 25% and 60%, while reducing the code size by 5% when compared to v1.1. Optimizations in the new compiler have reduced code size, while maintaining a speed increase of up to 30%. The new toolset is based on Altium's next-generation Viper compiler technology.

Also from Altium - The company announced the immediate availability of a 30-day trial version of the nVisage DXP multi-dimensional design capture system. Engineers can demo the tool, which performs schematic-driven circuit design for PCB implementation, mixed schematic- and VHDL-driven FPGA design, SPICE and VHDL simulation, and pre-layout signal integrity analysis. The trial version is fully functional, without feature limitations.

ARM announced the Integrator/LT-XC2V6000 Logic Tile product, an addition to the ARM RealView hardware and software development tools. The Logic Tile product is an Integrator board-compatible module that uses high-density, high-performance FPGAs to provide prototyping for SoC and platform developers. It uses Xilinx Virtex-II FPGAs and has a high I/O capability due to higher density connectors than are used on logic modules. Multiple Logic Tiles can be stacked to create large, complex system prototypes. Compatibility with the Integrator board products is provided by way of the new Integrator/IM-LT1 Interface Module product.

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced a broad reaching partnership with ATI Technologies, Inc. Under the agreement, ATI will standardize on Cadence SoC Encounter and a wide spectrum of other Cadence tools. ATI will incorporate Cadence technologies into its design environment to enhance the ATI design flow. Cadence will provide ATI with access to Cadence's internal research and development team as well as onsite migration support to assist ATI in the adoption of new Cadence technology. The agreement is initially for three years and includes a broad range of Cadence technology.

CiraNova, Inc. announced the closing of its $1.75 million Series A funding and two new board members, including Alloy Ventures' Daniel Rubin and Artisan's James Hogan. CiraNova is an EDA start-up developing analog layout automation tools.

Circuit Semantics Inc. announced that it has received a patent for the core technology that drives all Circuit Semantics characterization and modeling solutions. These products are used for automatically determining cell functionality, and analyzing performance and power characteristics of IC designs. The company's approach to circuit characterization and modeling enables the automatic characterization and modeling of nanometer designs, and differs from previous generation solutions based on scripts and templates.

Credence Systems Corp. announced it has completed the acquisition of Optonics, Inc. a supplier of integrated products for emission-based optical diagnostics and failure analysis, for approximately $19 million. The acquisition was an all-stock transaction pursuant to which Credence issued approximately 1.9 million shares of its common stock for all of the issued and outstanding shares of Optonics as well as options to purchase an additional 100,000 shares of Credence stock. Optonics will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Credence, known as Optonics, Inc., A Credence Company. Credence management says the combination of Optonics' technology with Credence's IMS systems will address problems in debug and validation by providing an integrated test solutions that will move products into volume production faster.

EMCORE Corp. and Agere Systems announced that EMCORE has acquired Agere's West Coast optoelectronics business for $25 million in cash. The transaction includes assets, products, technology, and intellectual property related to Agere's cable TV optical components, telecom access, and satellite communications operations, which had revenues of approximately $56 million in fiscal 2002. Agere's West Coast optoelectronics group, located in Alhambra and Irwindale, CA, consists primarily of the assets, personnel, and operations of Ortel Corp.

Esterel Technologies and Pro-Nexus have announced a partnership to provide their mutual customers with software development tools and consulting services. Esterel Technologies will provide Pro-Nexus with its flagship product, SCADE Suite, used in Europe for developing embedded software that meets stringent avionics standards, including DO-178B, and used by companies including Airbus, Eurocopter, and Dassault Aviation. SCADE has recently been introduced in the U.S. as well. Pro-Nexus will include the SCADE Suite in the consulting services offered to their customers.

HP introduced its newest generation of AlphaServer systems including the HP AlphaServer GS1280. Based on the new EV7 Alpha processor, the servers are currently shipping. The new AlphaServer family includes the high-end GS1280 enterprise server, the ES80 departmental server, and the ES47 workgroup systems. Tru64 UNIX and OpenVMS are available on all the new systems and Linux is also available on the AlphaServer ES47 and ES80 systems. The first AlphaServer models, including 16-processor GS1280 systems, shipped earlier this month, with larger GS1280 systems (ranging up to 64 Alpha processors) to follow later this year. In addition, AlphaServer systems based on enhanced EV79 Alpha processor technology are planned for introduction in 2004.

IBM and Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced an agreement to jointly optimize and market electronic design products from Cadence using IBM's Linux-based technology. Under the terms of the agreement, Cadence will optimize its digital verification, physical verification, digital IC, and custom IC tools to operate on IBM's Intel-processor-based eServer xSeries, eServer Linux Clusters, and IntelliStation workstations running Red Hat Advanced Server and Linux operating systems. In addition, Cadence and IBM will present a series of joint training and education sessions. Cadence plans to complete the Linux support rollout for most of its IC Solutions products by the end of Q1 2003.

Lattice Semiconductor Corp. announced a new family of ispPAC devices for power management. The product line is a set of mixed-signal PLDs that include in-system programmable analog and logic blocks, and that provide optimized power supply management functions. Through a combination of programmable logic, voltage comparators, references, and high voltage FET drivers, the devices support single-chip programmable power supply sequencing and monitoring. The first device, the ispPAC-POWR1208, integrates Lattice Semiconductor's ispMACH CPLD and ispPAC programmable analog technologies into a single chip. The device includes 12 precision analog threshold comparators with on-chip voltage references for supply monitoring, 4 noise-immune digital inputs and 4 open-drain digital outputs for system control interfacing, 4 programmable high-voltage FET drivers for supply control, and 4 programmable timers with an on-chip 250 kHz oscillator for delay control.

LSI Logic Corp. introduced StreamSlice, the first product in the RapidChip configurable product family. StreamSlice has 20 Gbps full-duplex throughput and targets high-end switches, routers, and other communications system applications. A slice is a pre-manufactured chip in which all silicon layers have been built, leaving the top five metal layers to be completed with the customer's IP. RapidChip devices will be customizable by building upon the features already present in the slice, then adding blocks of IP from the LSI Logic CoreWare library in combination with the customer's logic. System designers can use StreamSlice to eliminate interface integration problems. Multiple sets of embedded high-speed serializer/deserializers accommodate various interfaces including, SPI4.2, XAUI, Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and InfiniBand. The product has 3.3 megabits of embedded memory and 3 million usable gates of customer-configurable logic. StreamSlice products are in design today and are expected to be manufactured in Q1 '03 using LSI's 0.18-micron process technologies in its facility at Gresham, OR.

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