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Magma Design: SoC design - Next challenge for Taiwan's IC sector

Posted: 30 Sep 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:eda? soc? rtl-to-gdsII? gain-based synthesis? fixed-timing methodology?

Over the past 10 years, Taiwan's semiconductor industry has seen tremendous growth. Despite spending most of my professional career with the U.S. semiconductor industry, I have often traveled to the Asia Pacific region and have witnessed Taiwan succeed in what one may say a "mission impossible" of sorts by becoming the global center of semiconductor manufacturing.

Taiwan has transformed the industry with the implementation of the pure-play foundry model. It has also established its leadership in fabrication, assembly, and testing stages of the semiconductor value chain. Today, Taiwan's TSMC and UMC are the world's top two foundries. These two companies have not only have the most cost-effective and high-quality manufacturing facilities, they also have the most advanced process technologies ahead of the ITRS semiconductor roadmap.

In the shadow of multi-billion dollar fabs emerged a fabless design industry in Taiwan, as evidenced by several successful companies such as VIA, SIS, Mediatek, and Faraday. Indeed, the future growth of Taiwan's semiconductor industry depends on its ability to further advance IC design technology.

Faced with increasing global competition, the industry is ready to take on the next challenge of moving beyond contract manufacturing and becoming a global SoC design competency center. With its unique and advanced EDA technologies and solutions for advanced SoC designs, Magma is in the position to contribute to the IC design community in Taiwan.

As process technologies shrink to 0.18?m and below, conventional EDA design tools of synthesis and place-and-route approaches become less effective. These flows do not effectively account for interconnect delay, crosstalk noise, crosstalk delay and signal electromigration (EM) problems. Furthermore, they can handle only a few hundred thousand gates at a time, requiring designs to be broken down into blocks to synthesize and then be stitched back together. This process complicates the design cycle which oftentimes disable designers to achieve timing closure.

What does Magma offer?

As a new company offering breakthrough technologies, Magma offers the only integrated and complete RTL-to-GDSII system that uses gain-based synthesis, fixed-timing methodology and a single unified data model to address this deep submicron design challenge. Magma's next-generation EDA tools - BlastFusion and BlastChip - shorten turnaround time by using the FixedTiming methodology to determine the optimal timing prior to detailed layout and to deliver a final design that meets timing without iterations between logical and physical design.

Magma's unified data model allows the different implementation and analysis engines in synthesis, timing, placement, routing, extraction, and signal integrity to work concurrently with accurate and complete design information. Furthermore, the innovative gain-based synthesis technology can handle high capacity designs with fast runtime. This allows designers to complete multimillion gate and high-performance chips in less time.

Many leading ASIC and fabless companies in the U.S., Europe, and Japan have adopted Magma tools and enjoy the benefits of shortened design turnaround time, better performance, and superior quality for their most advanced design projects. Recently, Magma has taken this proven solution to Taiwan, investing in R&D and committing resources to support local customers.

Magma recently announced that it is expanding its sales and support operations in Taiwan with a new office, which will also serve as the operational center for Magma's Asia Pacific regions. In addition, Magma is relocating its R&D resources to Taiwan. This will enable Magma to actively and closely align with the leading foundries to incorporate tool features focusing on advanced technologies such as 90nm. Our goal is to continue delivering the best EDA technology and grow together with Taiwan's semiconductor industry.

- Lung Chu

VP of Asia Pacific Operations

Magma Design Automation

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