Magma's Blast Fusion Passes 500 Tape-out Milestone -- Proven Success on Nanometer Design Challenges

Users Cite Significant Improvements in Quality of Results, Manufacturability, Turnaround Time and Productivity

SANTA CLARA, Calif.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—March 1, 2004— Magma(R) Design Automation Inc. (Nasdaq: LAVA), a provider of chip design solutions, today announced that Blast Fusion(R) and Blast Fusion APX(TM) have reached a significant milestone, achieving more than 500 tape-outs, the majority on designs at 0.13 micron and smaller geometries. Customers have not only achieved single-pass silicon success, but also have benefited from better area, power and performance results as compared to point-tool flows. These improvements are enabled by Magma's patented FixedTiming(R) methodology and unique, unified data model architecture.

In the last year alone, Magma and key customers such as AMCC, Broadcom, Clearspeed, NEC, Renesas and Toshiba have announced significant design successes. Several IC manufacturers have acknowledged achieving fast single-pass silicon success on leading-edge 130-nanometer designs, pushing the envelope using Blast Fusion's multi-threshold voltage (multi-Vt) low-power design feature to reduce leakage power by 34 percent, managing design complexity that exceeds 18 million gates and delivering an extremely high-speed communications chip with a main clock speed of 622 MHz.

Growing adoption by new customers each quarter, increasing numbers of customers standardizing on Blast Fusion for nanometer designs and the fact that nine of the Top 10 semiconductor vendors use Blast Fusion are strong indicators of its growing market acceptance. Another indication of Blast Fusion's success is the dramatic increase in reader interest about Magma on, a popular EDA user community website moderated by John Cooley, a well-recognized observer of the EDA industry. The commentary about Magma in Cooley's recently published DAC 2003 trip report -- visit to read the comments -- received "very roughly the same number of reader pageviews" as Synopsys, Cadence and Mentor, Cooley said. "Why that's interesting is that Synopsys, Cadence and Mentor each ballparks 3,000 to 4,000 employees," Cooley noted. "Magma has roughly 300 to 400 employees. It's impressive that a company one tenth the size of any one of the 'Big Three' alone managed to get a measurable mindshare footprint roughly the same size as Synopsys, Cadence and Mentor. I didn't expect that."

"Blast Fusion has achieved a critical milestone," said Paul Baek, director of product marketing at Magma. "Magma's unique approach to IC implementation and its unified system architecture have been proven in the marketplace and, as a result, Magma has gained a reputation as the technology leader for nanometer design. We are extending this technology lead even further with Blast Fusion APX, which provides unmatched capacity and runtime improvements, and includes multi-Vt and multi-voltage low-power design features, plus advanced manufacturing rule support proven with several 90-nanometer tapeouts."

Integrated Nanometer Design Capabilities Deliver Unparalleled Benefits

Magma attributes this success to a number of nanometer design advantages in Blast Fusion:
    --  Higher Quality of Results: Based on a unified data model
        architecture, Blast Fusion's various functional elements --
        such as the implementation engines for optimization, placement
        and routing, and the analysis software for timing and delay
        extraction -- all operate directly on the unified data model
        without relying on file interfaces or application program
        interfaces (APIs). This tight integration allows more accurate
        analysis of the design and enables the system to make rapid
        tradeoff decisions during the design process to optimize for
        better timing, area and power.

        AMCC credited Blast Fusion's high-capacity,
        correct-by-construction design flow for enabling them to
        address the timing, area, power and signal integrity
        challenges of a 622 MHz design and named Magma its "Supplier
        of the Year." (See the entire news release at

    --  Increased Manufacturability: Blast Fusion's design for
        manufacturability (DFM)-driven routing increases
        manufacturability of 130-nanometer and 90-nanometer designs by
        reducing die size up to 36 percent, reducing metal length up
        to 22 percent and reducing the number of via connections up to
        32 percent.

        Sycon credits Blast Fusion with reducing the area of its
        customer's design by 36 percent. (Visit to read the entire news

    --  Faster Turnaround Time: Blast Fusion is based on the patented
        FixedTiming(TM) methodology. This approach enables Blast
        Fusion to predict circuit speeds prior to detailed physical
        design. The systems then use a series of design refinements
        during physical design to achieve a final timing that is very
        close to the predicted circuit speed. With predictable timing
        results, iterations from place and route back to synthesis can
        be eliminated, and turnaround time is significantly improved.

        NEC and its customer, Infrant Technologies, recently
        implemented a complex 3-million-gate design without
        layout-to-synthesis iteration. Magma provided a one-pass
        implementation flow that enabled them to implement the design
        faster and with fewer engineers. (See the entire news release

    --  Higher Capacity for Increased Productivity: Conventional
        point-tool flows have limited capacity, forcing designers to
        over-partition the design, unnecessarily complicating the
        design process. Blast Fusion can handle up to 6-million-gate
        designs flat within reasonable runtime. This allows design
        teams to handle entire designs flat, or to partition the
        design into just a few, easy-to-handle blocks.

        Broadcom recently taped out a 15-million-gate design using
        Blast Fusion(R). By allowing them to identify and correct
        critical problems early and providing a
        correct-by-construction physical implementation flow, Magma
        accelerated the design effort, significantly reducing the
        product development cycle time. (See the entire news release

About Magma

Magma provides leading software for designing highly complex integrated circuits while maximizing Quality of Results with respect to area, timing and power, and at the same time reducing overall design cycles and costs. Magma provides a complete RTL-to-GDSII design flow that includes prototyping, synthesis, place & route, and signal and power integrity chip design capabilities in a single executable, offering "The Fastest Path from RTL to Silicon"(TM). Magma's software also includes products for advanced physical synthesis and architecture development tools for programmable logic devices (PLDs); capacitance extraction; and characterization and modeling. The company's stock trades on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol LAVA. Visit Magma Design Automation on the Web at

Forward-Looking Statements:

Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this press release, including statements that Blast Fusion delivers better turnaround time, area, power and performance than point-tool flows, that Blast Fusion APX provides unmatched capacity and runtime improvements and about the features and benefits of Magma's software, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially including, but not limited to the ability of Magma's products to produce the desired results and Magma's ability to keep pace with rapidly changing technology. Further discussion of these and other potential risk factors may be found in Magma's latest filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission on form 10-K, and any subsequent updates thereto on form 10-Q. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. Magma disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

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