JULY 13th, 2005
At the SEMICON West Conference, one of the must-go-to events for
semiconductor companies wanting to find out the latest advances in semiconductor manufacturing technology, KT Ventures Group,
the investment arm of KLA-Tencor, one of the world’s semiconductor equipment leaders, announced that it will invest
in Aprio Technologies, a company that has been developing design-for-manufacturing (DFM) software.
According to Robert Lee, General Partner at KT Venture Group, a
major reason for the investment decision was that “Aprio's strategy dovetails very well with KLA- Tencor's view of the
DFM market. These facts formed the basis for our decision to invest in the company."
JULY 13th, 2005
ARTiSAN Software Tools, Inc., a provider of embedded system designer
software, is now an Associate Member of the Automotive Open Systems Architecture (AUTOSAR) partnership. That association,
considered an important part of any company’s automobile electronic product development effort, includes automobile
manufacturers, suppliers, software houses, tool manufacturers and semiconductor companies. These members’ common goal
is to establish an open standard for an automotive Electric/Electronics (E/E) architecture to manage the diverse array of
existing and emerging functions that are embedded into the automobile.
Further detailing the objectives of AUTOSAR was Jeremy Goulding,
ARTiSAN's President and CEO commented, "The AUTOSAR initiative works toward networking systems and sub-systems, and creating
a common technology interface both to and within the vehicle. As the leading vendor bringing the OMG's UML based Systems Modeling
Language (SysML) to embedded systems, we've been urged by the automotive industry to join AUTOSAR. Our goal is to understand
from the inside of this partnership exactly what users need most, and to provide first class tool support for that to build
on our position as a leading systems and software modeling tool partner for automotive electronics development."
Among the organization’s primary members are the leading automobile
and automobile component companies. These include BMW, Bosch, Continental, DaimlerChrysler, Ford, GM, PSA, Siemens VDO, Toyota
and Volkswagen. There are also a number of semiconductor companies listed as premium members. These include ARM, Freescale
Semiconductor, Renesas and STMicroelectronics. MathWorks, a provider of EDA and mathematical software is also listed.
JULY 12th, 2005
Applied Wave Research, Inc. (AWR), a notable leader in the area
of high frequency wireless design tools, has entered into a technology and marketing agreement with Astra Microelectronics
Technology, Ltd., (AMTL) of Hyderabad, India. As part of the agreement AMTL will use AWR’s award winning Microwave Office
design tools for the design of integrated circuits and microwave components at both its new monolithic microwave integrated
circuit (MMIC) design center, known as Astra Microwave Products, Ltd. (AMPL), and at its parent company location. As part
of the joint marketing plan, AMTL and AWR will offer AMTL’ custom design services. These include radio frequency and
microwave designs for applications such as satellite communications.
Ramanan Ramamurti, AMTL's Chief Operating Officer on announcement
of the agreement indicated that AWR’s design software was easy to use, resulted in first pass design success and that
AWA was easy an easy company to work with, "We were attracted to AWR by the performance and ease-of-use of their design solutions.
When we began working with AWR support personnel, we were pleasantly surprised at the level of service and commitment to ensuring
Astra's success. We instantly recognized that this was the sort of 'win-win' situation that makes for a successful relationship
and wanted to broaden ours with AWR. We are already realizing first pass success in our IC designs."
AMTL was founded in 2004 as a subsidiary of Astra Microwave Products,
JULY 12th, 2005
Celoxica Ltd., an electronic system level EDA company, with Calsonic
Kansei Corp., a module designer and researchers at Keio University have reported on the development of a drive-by-wire automotive
system based on FPGAs. The announcement indicated that FPGAs and not a processor or ASIC based solution, was the only practical
choice for the project in order to meet power, heat, space, design time and custom needs for different automobile applications.
According to Mr. Masatoshi Arai, manager, Advanced Engineering Development Group at Calsonic Kansei Corp. "Applying recognition
processing into automobiles requires low to medium volume, low power and rapid design to support the wide variety of chip
types needed to meet the characteristics of different cars. To meet these requirements FPGAs are a better choice than ASIC
and the DK Design Suite provided a distinct advantage by helping us to quickly design and implement the different design parameters
needed by the project."
The system built is based on license plate recognition and calculates
the safe distance needed to avoid collisions from cars in front and in back of the automobile. Colin Mason, VP Asia Pacific
and General Manager at Celoxica Japan K.K. credited the company’s design software with unleashing the power of FPGAs
for automotive applications, "Our C-based design and synthesis technology is unlocking the potential of lower power, flexible
FPGAs for next generation automotive electronics. C-based design is now the de facto enabling technology for rapidly accelerating
complex custom algorithms in high performance silicon." The system produced relied on algorithm parallelization, which enabled,
once connected to a car camera, a processing time of only 10 milliseconds.
JULY 7th, 2005
Magma Licenses IBM’s Physical Design Software –
Increased Chip Yield Expected
Magma Design Automation Inc. (NASDAQ:LAVA), one of the emerging
new leaders in the EDA industry, has entered into a long term agreement with IBM to license that company’s physical
synthesis and routing software. The software, which was developed by IBM and the Research Institute of Discrete Mathematics
at the University of Bonn, is expected to be the basis for new Magma design tools that are based on analytical formulated
routing instead of heuristic based algorithms. The end result is expected to be reduced via counts and increased chip yields.
The agreement, which expands on IBM’s and Magma’s existing
2004 EDA patent license agreement, will also attempt to further advance the development of lithography-aware routing. Kevin Carswell, Vice President of Product Technology Development in IBM's Systems
and Technology Group, indicated that the agreement would build on the innovative technology foundation that the University
of Bonn has laid down, "IBM sees this licensing agreement as an outstanding opportunity to expand the IBM relationship with
Magma and more broadly leverage the innovative work of the University of Bonn. We look forward to working with Magma to enable
the ongoing development of these advanced tools."
The University of Bonn is credited with the developing a significant
portion of IBM’s physical synthesis and routing technology. The relationship between IBM and the university is expected
to be expanded on with the Magma agreement. According to Professor Bernhard Korte of the University of Bonn's Research Institute
for Discrete Mathematics, "It has been great working with IBM and we look forward to continuing our application of discrete
mathematics with Magma and IBM."
JUNE 20th, 2005
Gradient Design Automation Inc. has introduced its FireBolt design
tool, an analysis program that takes into account thermal gradients to asses the reliability of integrated circuits in operation.
According to Rajit Chandra, CEO of Gradient, thermal analysis tools
are necessary to prevent design failures, "Design closure of modern semiconductor products can only be reached by using a
temperature-aware design methodology throughout the design flow. Thermal analysis and thermal repair create thermal integrity,
which is a necessary ingredient in nanometer chip designs. Our mission is to accurately compute all the temperatures on a
chip, provide the data so physical designers can analyze it, and repair thermal problems before they cause a chip to fail."
In substantiating a Design for Cost need for their tool, Gradient
pointed the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS). The company indicated that roadmap indicates that
because of a lack of thermal tools and thermal knowledge, designers will have to overdesign their chips for timing and power
in the order of 30 percent to 40 percent. Gradient also noted that actual measurements on designs indicate that large interchip
temperature gradients result in poor timing optimization and significant simulation-based timing errors.
Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, whose credentials are listed as a
holder of the Buttner Chair of the Department of EECS at the University of California at Berkeley, a founder of Cadence and
member of the Gradient Board of Directors left little doubt for the need to asses thermal chip gradients, "Gradient products
are essential for reaching thermal closure before tape-out and manufacturing of complex integrated circuits. Consequently,
they can save many chips from failing when tested or even after their deployment in the field. Heat is a serious problem at
small geometries, and it's never constant across a chip -- temperature and its variations impact everything from power consumption,
performance, and reliability, to the yield and manufacturability of today's ICs."