SIMPLEX INTRODUCES HIGH-SPEED HIERARCHICAL POWER GRID ANALYSIS FOR SOC DESIGN VoltageStorm SoC Offers Fast, Transistor-Accurate Power Grid Analysis During Physical Design
-SUNNYVALE, Calif., May 8, 2000-Simplex Solutions, Inc. today introduced VoltageStorm SoC, a breakthrough new version of its market-leading VoltageStorm power grid analysis product that enables high-speed hierarchical power grid analysis during physical design. The first transistor-accurate power grid analysis product fast enough for use during physical design and timing verification, VoltageStorm SoC delivers transistor-level accuracy with gate-level speed and ease-of-use. By enabling system-on-chip (SoC) IC designers to verify the integrity of their power grid before signal routing, VoltageStorm SoC helps eliminate needless overdesign, providing more flexibility for signal routing and easing the timing closure burden.
"VoltageStorm SoC's underlying transistor-level accuracy offers designers a unique and important advantage," said David Overhauser, vice president and co-founder of Simplex. "To accurately verify the power grid of an SoC design with embedded IP blocks such as microprocessors or memories, you need to know what's going on inside the IP blocks at the transistor level. Your power grid doesn't stop at cell boundaries-neither should your power grid analysis."
"VoltageStorm SoC gives us the transistor-accurate power grid analysis we've come to rely on from Simplex, but with gate-level ease-of-use and speed-our design ran in just a few minutes," said Philippe Duquennois, CAD manager for Philips/VLSI. "Getting feedback on power grid integrity before signal routing gives us more flexibility during the signal routing process."
In 2000, power grid sign-off (PGS) became a standard deep submicron (DSM) sign-off procedure, along with design-rule checking (DRC) and layout-versus-schematic (LVS) verification. This is because SoC design styles, which integrate multiple levels of logic and functionality on a single die, have greatly increased the need for power distribution analysis. VoltageStorm, which provides transistor-level power grid IR (voltage) drop and electromigration analysis for final full-chip verification, is the leading PGS solution. VoltageStorm SoC enables designers to apply the production-proven IR drop analysis from VoltageStorm before signal routing, so they can use the results during timing verification and avoid costly downstream ECOs to correct power grid problems.
Existing gate-level power grid distribution analysis tools tend to rely on oversimplifications, such as black-boxing embedded IP blocks, to provide speed. This approach results in inaccuracies. In contrast, VoltageStorm SoC's analysis is based on pre-characterized, transistor-accurate power grid "views" of a design's cells, blocks and IP elements. Pre-characterized library elements also facilitate the re-use strategies that are central to SoC design styles. VoltageStorm SoC also incorporates Simplex' QIC Engine[tm] technology, a proprietary, geometry-processing engine that enables a user friendly, transistor-level accurate product with gate-level speed.
"Toshiba's 0.18 micron design flow will incorporate verification against SoC DSM issues such as signal integrity, IR drop and electromigration. We combine our internal CAD expertise and tools with Simplex Fire & Ice QX for accurate 3D extraction and VoltageStorm SoC for IR drop and electromigration analysis to provide an integrated, certified SoC design flow," said Kiyofumi Ochii, General Manager, System LSI Design Division, Toshiba Semiconductor. "VoltageStorm SoC gives us the ability to handle both transistor-level and gate-level design styles on the same die-critical for SoC designs."
VoltageStorm SoC accepts DEF netlist input, as well as power consumption data from products such as Sente's WattWatcher[tm] and Synopsys' DesignPower[tm]. Outputs include pass/fail reports based on user-defined limits, detailed textual reports and color plots. IR drop has a significant impact on signal arrival times and clock skew, so accurate power grid distribution data is vital to the timing verification process. VoltageStorm SoC also produces instance-based IR drop reports that can be input to static timing analysis tools.
Packaging and Availability
Simplex' VoltageStorm SoC product includes options for both DEF-based design flows and for GDSII-based final verification. VoltageStorm is available immediately, and VoltageStorm SoC will be available in Q3 2000 running on Sun and HP workstations.
About Simplex Solutions, Inc.
Simplex Solutions, Inc. is a leader in the new market for deep submicron system-on-chip (SoC) verification. The company currently develops full-chip, multi-level IC extraction and analysis software, used worldwide by companies developing microprocessors and integrated circuits (ICs) to improve chip performance and reliability. Simplex works closely with semiconductor foundries Chartered, IBM, NEC, TSMC, Toshiba and UMC to develop and validate technology models for its mutual customers to use in production. The company's investors include Attractor Investment Management, Intel Corp., Mayfield Fund, Sumitomo Corp. and Worldview Technology Partners. Simplex can be reached at (408) 617-6100 or on the web at www.simplex.com.
Simplex Solutions, the Simplex logo and VoltageStorm are trademarks of Simplex Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.