October 20, 2003
Testing, Testing, 123
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on EDACafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
Peggy Aycinena - Contributing Editor

by Peggy Aycinena - Contributing Editor
Posted anew every four weeks or so, the EDA WEEKLY delivers to its readers information concerning the latest happenings in the EDA industry, covering vendors, products, finances and new developments. Frequently, feature articles on selected public or private EDA companies are presented. Brought to you by EDACafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

2 - Magma announced that Spike Technologies has joined its MagmaTies partner program. Through this program Spike Technologies gains access to Magma's software, methodologies and training and can serve as a qualified design resource to Magma customers. Spike will support Magma's Blast Create synthesis and physical design solution.

3 - Magma and Veritools announced integration of Veritools' flagship Undertow toolset with Magma's Blast Create synthesis solution. Blast Create and Undertow users now have a seamless RTL-to-placed-gates design flow that includes cross-probing and interactive debugging capabilities for very large and complex SoC designs. The combination of Magma and Veritools technology allows designers to find errors in the design intent within the RTL code or timing constraints using familiar techniques such as cross-probing HDL source code, gate-level schematics, block diagrams, state machine diagrams and waveforms.

4 - Magma announced that Chrontel, Inc. has successfully completed the design of a digital visual interface (DVI) chip using Magma's RTL-to-GDSII design system. The DVI transmitter is a display controller that accepts a digital graphics input signal and then up-scales, encodes and transmits the data through a DVI link. The mixed-signal chip, which operates at up to 200 MHz, was designed using Blast Create and Blast Fusion.

5 - Magma announced that Infrant Technologies and NEC Electronics America have taped out a 250 MHz, 3-million-gate network storage device using Magma's integrated RTL-to-GDSII system. Infrant Technologies performed RTL synthesis with Blast Create using a flat design methodology and then handed off the design to NEC Electronics America for physical implementation using Blast Fusion. The design was fabricated in the CB-12M 0.15-micron process technology. With Magma's software, Infrant and NEC Electronics America were able to tape out the device with zero layout-to-synthesis iterations, completing the design in just three months.

6 - Magma announced that Fastrack Design Inc. has delivered a turnkey design exclusively using Magma's RTL-to-GDS flow.

7 - Magma announced that QuantumThink Group Inc. has adopted the Blast Create synthesis solution. QThink now offers customers expertise in Magma's complete RTL-to-GDSII flow.

8 - Magma announced that Broadcom Corp. has taped out a 15-million-gate design using Blast RTL and Blast Fusion. Magma's integrated RTL-to-GDSII system was used to synthesize the largest and most complex block of the design. The companies report that using a single Blast RTL license, performance goals were met and significantly faster total turnaround time was achieved. Blast Fusion was used to implement the entire design.

9 - Magma and NEC Electronics America announced that NEC will accept ASIC design data from Blast Create. The companies say that designs completed for NEC's ASIC customers have shown the hand-off from Magma provides a smooth data transfer and predictable timing closure without the need to iterate from layout back to synthesis.

Conventional approaches to logic design require partitioning and delay budgeting of the design into blocks with fewer than 250,000 gates. For today's 10-million-gate and larger SoC designs, this requires many blocks to be integrated at the top level, making chip-level timing convergence unpredictable and causing layout-to-synthesis iterations. Blast Create's capacity, which Magma says is an order of magnitude greater than that of conventional synthesis tools, is reported as giving front-end designers the same advantages that back-end designers have enjoyed - improvements in area, performance and power of 5 percent to 15 percent.

10 - Magma announced that the company's PALACE physical synthesis software now supports Actel's reprogrammable, flash-based ProASIC Plus FPGA device families. Magma says that PALACE unifies logic synthesis and physical design and provides an efficient physical synthesis engine for FPGAs that includes constraint-driven optimization, architecture-specific mapping, and unique support for multi-cycle on-chip communication. The companies says that the support is the result of a 7-month-long, close collaboration between Actel and Aplus Design Technologies, Inc., which was acquired by Magma in July 2003.

Coming soon to a theater near you

Verify2003 Seminar Series - Sponsored by Axis Systems, CoWare, Denali Software, Novas Software, Sun Microsystems, and Verisity Design, organizers describe these events as “free one-day educational seminars offering a comprehensive review of the latest methodologies, language standards and best-of-breed electronic design automation tools required to verify and debug complex integrated circuits and system-on-chip designs.” The event's already underway and has moved from Austin to San Jose and San Diego so far. You can still catch it, however, on October 21st in Munich, Germany, October 28th in Boston, October 30th in Ottawa, or November 4th in Santa Clara. (

In the category of ...

This one's for Sheryl

In May 1998, my father was diagnosed with bladder cancer after having ignored symptoms for over a year. He was 75, a doctor, and should have known better. He was treated throughout the summer of 1998 with BCG, but that failed, so he had his bladder and prostate removed in September 1998. He was fitted with an ostomy bag and my mother became his tireless ostomy nurse. He also began 6 months of chemotherapy and started wearing a hat both night and day. Sometimes his bag leaked, which caused him no end of humiliation. He often left a dinner party suddenly and without explanation.

In February 1999, my brother - then 49 - was diagnosed with prostate cancer. His cancer was discovered by way of his PSA level during his regular annual check-up. As prostate cancer is not considered urgent, the surgeon - who was the same surgeon that had operated on my father - was not able to operate on my brother until April.

While my brother was in surgery in April 1999, his wife, my mother, my father, my husband, and my sister all waited in the waiting room. My father still didn't have any hair and had started wearing suspenders because he couldn't get a belt to work around the ostomy bag. When the surgery was over, the surgeon reported out that all had gone well. He was a young doctor, with steady hands, and my brother was his first surgery of the day. The surgeon was appropriately confident of the results of his handwork. My brother recovered (after several months) and did not have to have radiation or chemo.

The afternoon of my brother's surgery that April, my sister left the hospital and went straight to an appointment with her own surgeon. She had been to see her internist the day before and he had been alarmed by a lump in her breast. She would have seen the surgeon the very next morning, but she wanted to be at the hospital with my family during my brother's surgery.

My sister had actually noticed a suspicious lump 4 months earlier, but had been told at that time by a doctor who was not her regular primary care physician that she was a “hypochondriac.” My sister was a public health nurse and administrator. She should have known better.

As you've probably already guessed, the afternoon of April 16, 1999, my sister was diagnosed with advanced stage breast cancer. She was 51. She called me that night with the news and asked me to tell Mom and Dad. She didn't have the strength to face them after all that they had already been through that day and over the previous year.

Exactly 6 months later my sister died - on October 16, 1999 - but not before enduring a lumpectomy, a mastectomy, liver surgery, gall bladder surgery, a collapsed lung during surgery to implant a chemo-port, and 5 months of adriamysin. She left a husband of 30 years, one high school senior, and one college senior.

In March 2001, my father was diagnosed with liver cancer. He died 4 weeks later, 18 months to the day after my sister.

Now you may think it's macabre to keep track of these days, these months, these coincidences, but what are you going to do when they're stuck in your head?

In any case, today is October 16th again. My sister has been gone 4 years today. She did not get to see her younger son graduate from high school, nor her older son graduate from college. Neither will she see that same son marry next week in South Carolina, although the rest of the clan will certainly be there - hankies in hand. The clan was also on hand en masse last month to see my late sister's husband remarry. There were lots of hankies at that wedding as well, as you can imagine.

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-- Peggy Aycinena, EDACafe.com Contributing Editor.


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