FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--January 22, 2007
--DAFCA, Inc, the leading vendor of on-chip reconfigurable infrastructure and tools for in-system, at-speed silicon validation, announced today they achieved their first commercial silicon implementations, and landed their sixth customer, in the fourth quarter of 2006. DAFCA closed their first year in production with "some of the biggest names in Europe, Asia, and the United States", according to Peter Levin, president and CEO, and began 2007 with a new and innovative business model.
"With our IP now proven in numerous customer chips, it's time to step up from a development partner to technology vendor", explained Levin. "Our biggest challenges have always been to demonstrate we are good neighbors on the die, and that we offer terrific and complete product life-cycle benefits, from RTL to RMA field returns. We accomplished all this in 2006; it was a decisive year for us".
DAFCA calls its new business model Shared Success Pricing (SSP). "Product managers suffer mightily from validation escapes that make bring-up a very unpredictable process, and designers know 'hope is not a plan'. Our challenge is to show them that functional or timing problems in silicon don't have to be embarrassing, costly, or lethal," explained Levin. "For customers who choose an accelerated path to silicon, SSP offers inexpensive access to at-speed, in-system tools they know they'll need to validate prototype samples in the system board. Silicon providers who follow more conventional and typically slower methodologies reflexively think that errors are an admission of defeat. DAFCA's SSP is designed for them, too, because it is essentially a 'call option'. They'll reach out to DAFCA only when they have problems with their validation protocol, and need our software applications to drive the on-chip analysis. If there's an issue that can delay production, they'll know, in advance, what it costs to see inside their device."
DAFCA advisor Jim Hogan said "EDA has always had difficulty capturing the value they deliver, and EDA startups have a particularly hard challenge. DAFCA has taken on the monster post-silicon headache, and their SSP model is a really innovative way for their customers to access their technology. SSP means that customers only pay if and when they need their product; that is a giant leap of faith for a start-up, and a great way to partner for silicon success. I expected something creative like that from these guys, and they delivered".
"If all the pre-silicon tools and models were perfect, implementation would be a reliable open loop process. But the evidence clearly shows that pre-silicon verification is anything but perfect. Moreover, I expect this problem to get worse, given the design complexity enabled at the 45 and 65 nm nodes; experience shows that it is unrealistic to expect that everything will work right the first time. Therefore on-chip instrumentation is essential to investigate unexpected behavior," said Claus Kuntzsch, a testability and product engineering manager at Micronas GmbH, one of DAFCA's early development partners.
The company also announced that DAFCA has received its third patent, with several more pending. "What a wonderful feeling, to see our original ideas move from the white board to silicon, and to see the kind of impact our invention can have on the whole integrated circuit life cycle", said Miron Abramovici, DAFCA founder and CTO. "Our next step is to start bolting on new customer-driven applications, like automated insertion and automatic in-system error location, that show the real power of a reconfigurable infrastructure platform". Abramovici is the principal investigator of the NIST ATP Award received by DAFCA in 2004 that supports these advanced developments.
"We know that coupling on-chip instrumentation with Novas' design comprehension know-how is a natural next-step, and we're delighted that DAFCA is partnering with us", said Scott Sandler, CEO of Novas Software. DAFCA's ClearBlue tools were designed to leverage Verdi for waveform display and design analysis. "There's a reason they're leading the market", responded Levin, "and we're looking forward to similarly tight integration with Siloti. It's all about design productivity, and customers are the real winners when best-in-class tools seamlessly interoperate."
DAFCA will be conducting ClearBlue product demonstrations at the following technical conferences:
- January 25-26, 2007 at the EDS Fair in Yokohama, Japan, Booth #104 in collaboration with Itochu Techno-Solutions / CTC
- February 28, 2007 at the Magma MUSIC Vendor Exhibit, in Santa Clara, CA
DAFCA, Inc. is a design automation software company that shortens post-silicon SoC validation and in-system bring-up. The DAFCA ClearBlue(TM) software suite and silicon proven instrumentation library allows design teams to incorporate our patented reconfigurable infrastructure into their designs to observe, discover and diagnose functional errors at-speed, resulting in dramatically lower development costs and accelerated time to volume silicon. Learn more about the company at www.dafca.com.