SpringSoft Unveils Unique Automated Custom Digital IC Place and Route Tools
Laker Custom IC Design Platform expanded with new Row Placer and Custom Digital Router to efficiently integrate digital design in mixed-signal ICs
HSINCHU, Taiwan, March 15, 2010 - SpringSoft, Inc. (TAIEX: 2473), a global supplier of specialized IC design software, today introduced two new products aimed at addressing the increasing challenge of designing custom chips that contain both analog and digital circuitry. Building on its expertise in automated custom design with its Laker suite of custom IC design solutions, the company unveiled its Laker Custom Row Placer and Laker Custom Digital Router. The tools are fully compatible with the Laker Custom Layout Automation System, allowing designers to work within a single custom IC layout environment to efficiently place-and-route both digital custom cells and standard cells for either mixed-signal or custom digital designs.
As with the existing Laker system, the new tools are fully compliant with the industry standard OpenAccess (OA) database, providing a truly interoperable platform for designers to develop heterogeneous tool environments for their complete custom IC design flow. The new place-and route solutions are tuned for custom IC layout with custom digital and mixed-signal blocks, eliminating the need for hand-layout or exporting design data to a traditional digital place-and-route tool. The solutions also allow precise design of custom digital blocks to meet the critical size and power requirements that often times can not be achieved through general purpose automated place-and-route tools.
"The changing nature of mixed-signal chips - greater intermingling of digital with analog and much greater use of digital standard cells in mixed-signal blocks, smaller geometries, increased performance needs, and low-power constraints - requires a more efficient and integrated approach to custom IC design. These new tools build on the strong foundation of custom IC design technology in our Laker system and add very efficient automation for the digital portions of designs," said Duncan McDonald, director of product marketing for Custom IC Design Solutions at SpringSoft.
Laker Custom Row Placer
For placement of digital blocks, the Laker Custom Row Placer supports standard cell and custom cell design (including double height cell). It uses proprietary automation techniques to perform incremental selection and placement, as well as internal iterations to pack the placement area. It also utilizes stacking utilities for datapath-style placement. The row placer also assists routing with features for row snapping and overlap removal as well as diffusion sharing for area minimization.
The Laker Custom Row Placer and Custom Digital Router are fully integrated with the Laker layout system, providing users with the same comprehensive editing features, such as alignment and distribution, boundary update and overlap check. The Custom Row Placer also performs transparent data preparation and congestion minimization for the Custom Digital Router. Although the Custom Row Placer is not timing driven, it does placement for minimum wire length.
Laker Custom Digital Router
The Laker Customer Digital Router is aimed at digital design portions (less than 50K cells), and is not timing driven. Routing is done directly in the Laker database, or in OpenAccess, and is supported with LEF/DEF import and export capabilities. The initial release supports 40-nanometer (nm) rules with 28nm rules to follow in future releases.
The Laker Custom Router is a hybrid router with both gridded and shape-based routing technologies. It allows off-grid routing to reach off-grid pins, and uses shape-based routing to fix any design rule violations. The router supports 3D global route and features a congestion analysis map and display. It correlates with the Custom Row Placer to ensure routable placement. It has a full suite of fixing utilities such as support for end-of-line spacing, min-edge/min-area, enclosure edge, and post-route optimization. It also allows a separate post-route DRC verification run, offering an error viewer to easily see DRC violations.
Pricing and Availability
General availability of the products will be in the second quarter of 2010. Pricing for a three-year time-based license starts at US$35,000 per year for the Laker Custom Row Placer and US$65,000 per year for the Laker Custom Digital Router.
SpringSoft, Inc. is a global supplier of specialized automation technologies that accelerate engineers during the design, verification and debug of complex digital, analog and mixed-signal ICs, ASICs, microprocessors, and SoCs. Its award-winning product portfolio features the Laker Custom IC Design and Novas Verification Enhancement solutions used by more than 400 of today's leading IDM and fabless semiconductor companies, foundries, and electronic systems OEMs. Headquartered in Hsinchu, Taiwan, and San Jose, California, SpringSoft is the largest company in Asia specializing in IC design software and a recognized industry leader in customer service with more than 400 employees located in multiple R&D sites and local support offices around the world. For more information, visit www.springsoft.com.
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