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TransEDA licenses formal-verification technology from SRI

Posted: 22 Apr 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:TransEDA? formal verification tool? SRI?

Making a concerted effort to be seen as more than a simulation add-on-tool vendor, TransEDA plc has licensed raw formal-verification technology from Stanford Research Institute and plans to turn this know-how into formal and semiformal verification tools within a year.

TransEDA is known for add-on tools such as code coverage and linting tools that enhance other vendors' simulation tools. Its stock is not traded on any U.S. exchange. But now, said Tom Borgstrom, vice president of marketing at TransEDA, the company feels it is moving to the next level of maturity.

It will license the formal technology from Stanford Research Institute (SRI) and inevitably develop formal verification tools with it, Borgstrom said. "We feel years from now we will look back on this arrangement and say this agreement was crucial to the growth of our company," he said. "We've been looking at formal verification technology as a key not only to our future but to our industry's future."

Borgstrom said the 10-year exclusive arrangement with SRI, announced Thursday (April 18), provides access to technologies developed by SRI's Formal Methods and Dependable Systems program. The institute, an independent research and technology development organization, began at Stanford University.

State space kit

SRI has licensed its formal technology to other software companies targeting industries such as avionics, aerospace, automotive and nuclear energy, Borgstrom said, but TransEDA has exclusive rights to use it for developing formal verification tools to be used in the design of microelectronic components.

Specifically, TransEDA has licensed a state space exploration tool kit that theoretically can be used to build model checkers, simulators, static debuggers, symbolic simulators and other tools. In the short term, Borgstrom said, the company will use this tool kit to enhance its VN-Property DX dynamic property checker. It will also use the kit to complete formal and semiformal tools it plans to bring to market in the next 12 months, he said.

TransEDA has been traded on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange, but has not as yet joined a U.S. exchange. Many U.S. financial analysts covering EDA have said TransEDA would have a hard time on Nasdaq or other U.S. exchanges until it had a more substantial tool lineup.

Borgstrom said TransEDA believes it will be able to produce over the coming year next-generation semiformal and formal verification tools based largely on the bounded-model-checker technology it has licensed from SRI. That technology has new formal algorithms that do real-value and integer-based analysis, instead of bit-level analysis, he said, allowing it to handle much larger designs than current model-checker tools.

"We feel based on our research that we will see orders of magnitude increase in capacity compared to what is commercially available today," Borgstrom said. He would not disclose the financial terms of TransEDA's agreement with SRI.

? Michael Santarini

EE Times

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