Simplex Unveils SignalStorm(TM) SoC Production-Proven, Unified Signal-Integrity Solution Enables Fast Timing Convergence for 0.13-Micron and Below Designs
SUNNYVALE, Calif., Feb. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Simplex Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLX - news), a leading provider of software and services for the design and verification of integrated circuits (ICs), today unveiled SignalStorm(TM) SoC, the industry's most advanced solution for the signal-integrity timing issues that are a critical concern for IC designers targeting 0.13-micron and below process technologies. Simplex's new family of SoC verification products provides a unified signal-integrity solution for cell-based design that accounts for propagation delay, voltage drop (IR) and crosstalk effects in next-generation, hierarchical delay calculation. SignalStorm SoC enables designers to determine the impact of signal-integrity effects on path delays with greater accuracy and speed than ever before. SignalStorm SoC delivers accuracy to within 2 percent of SPICE with run times 4 to 20 times faster than other solutions while consuming 80 percent less system memory. As a result, SignalStorm SoC enables designers to achieve timing convergence more quickly, conserving valuable engineering resources and speeding time to market.
The SignalStorm SoC technology has already been employed by Simplex's SoC Design Foundry® team to ensure first-pass timing closure and first-silicon success for 19 production designs for customers such as Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. "The ability of Simplex's SignalStorm SoC technology to calculate delay to within 2 percent of SPICE, at gate-level speed, played an important role in first-pass timing closure for our Graphics Synthesizer® I-32 chip," said Hidetaka Magoshi, vice president of system LSI design at Sony Computer Entertainment. "SignalStorm SoC's accurate timing characterization and hierarchical delay calculation were two of the main technologies applied in the design methodology that enabled delivery of this groundbreaking chip's physical design in just 10 weeks."
Conquering the Timing-Convergence Challenge
As semiconductor process geometries continue to shrink, ever-thinner wires are packed more and more tightly together, producing unintended electrical effects, such as capacitance coupling, that impair signal integrity. These complex signal-integrity effects have a profound effect on path delays and design timing. As process geometries move to 0.13 micron and below, signal-integrity timing issues have become a primary concern, as they impede timing convergence, consume engineering resources and result in needless over-engineering, overly constrained designs and costly schedule delays.
Designers use SignalStorm SoC as part of their timing flow to calculate path delays accurately, accounting for signal-integrity timing effects such as propagation delay and crosstalk effects. SignalStorm SoC also incorporates instance-based IR-drop data from Simplex's industry-leading VoltageStorm(TM) SoC, to account for the effects of IR drop on path delays. This capability becomes critical at 0.13 micron and below, where power supplies are typically in the 1.2-volt range, and even small voltage drops can compromise signal timing and lead to chip failures.
Such integrated solutions are indeed critical to logical and physical design in the 0.13-micron era, according to Gary Smith, chief analyst with Gartner Dataquest. "As signal integrity effects such as IR drop, coupling and crosstalk increasingly impact the timing flow, EDA providers must look beyond mere point-tool solutions," stated Smith. "Tool suites that offer integrated analysis of these effects while also taking into account design hierarchy are the key to meeting high-end chip designers' needs."
SignalStorm SoC's increased accuracy yields fewer false timing violations, conserving valuable engineering resources, speeding time-to-market and enabling more aggressive designs. SignalStorm SoC provides the most accurate delay calculation solution available today for the most popular timing analysis flows using the standard Liberty(TM) .lib format. For design flows that include custom library characterization, SignalStorm SoC provides accuracy within 2 percent of SPICE using the effective current source model (ECSM) available from SignalStorm SoC's library characterization option. And because it performs true hierarchical delay calculation, SignalStorm SoC provides accurate results up to 20 times faster than current-generation products and uses only one-fifth the memory.
"Our customers tell us that signal-integrity timing issues are what keep them up at night as they approach 0.13-micron design starts. We developed SignalStorm SoC to address this critical issue in a way that best enhances our customers' ability to get to market first with working silicon," said Jim Bailey, vice president and general manager of Simplex's SoC Verification business. "Simplex has the unique advantage of having a leading-edge design team in-house to inform and influence the development of our technologies. Our SoC Design Foundry team has already successfully completed designs as large as 287 million transistors, with frequencies as high as 700 MHz, targeted to process geometries through 0.15-micron using SignalStorm SoC."
Pricing and Availability
Simplex's SignalStorm SoC signal-integrity timing solution is available now in a variety of package configurations and library options. Pricing starts at $50,000.
Simplex Solutions, Inc. provides software and services for the design and verification of integrated circuits (ICs) to enable its communications, computer and consumer-products customers to achieve first-time production success and rapid delivery of complex systems-on-chip. Simplex's customers use its products and services prior to manufacture to design and verify the ICs to help ensure that they will perform as intended, taking into account the complex effects of deep-submicron semiconductor physics. Simplex can be reached at 408-617-6100 or on the web at www.simplex.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements
This release contains forward-looking statements (including, without limitation, information regarding semiconductor design, production and performance improvements resulting from the use of SignalStorm SoC) that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause the results of Simplex to differ materially from management's current expectations. Actual results may differ materially due to a number of factors including, among others: future strategic decisions made by Simplex; competitive developments; demand for advanced semiconductor chips and the verification software that supports their production; and the rapid pace of technological change in the semiconductor industry. The matters discussed in this press release also involve risks and uncertainties described in Simplex's most recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Simplex assumes no obligation to update the forward- looking information contained in this release.
NOTE: Design Foundry is a registered service mark and Simplex Solutions, the Simplex logo and SignalStorm are trademarks of Simplex Solutions. All other trademarks mentioned in this press release are the properties of their respective owners.