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Magma flow adds power analysis

Posted: 06 May 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:magma design automation? tool? blast power? blast create? blast fusion?

Rounding out its power offering, Magma Design Automation Inc. said a new tool lets designers set a timing budget and implement a design with the proper balance of power, timing and area. By adding the Blast Power option to Magma's Blast Create and Blast Fusion APX RTL-to-GDSII flow, designers can examine power-vs.-timing and power-vs.-area trade-offs throughout a design flow without exporting design data out of the Magma environment, the company said.

Product-marketing director Sameer Patel said that with more chips implemented in finer process geometries, requiring faster clock rates and lower battery power consumption, power management has moved from a third-order to a first-order concern for IC designers.

"Blast Power includes all the optimization and implementation features to help reduce leakage power, dynamic power and improve power distribution," Patel said. The tool performs "automatic power grid synthesis," he said. "This introduces the synthesis concept to power grid design."

Designers can specify constraints for such areas as voltage drop, electromigration and utilization on different metal layers. Based on those constraints, the tool automatically generates a power grid within a minimum area, Patel said. "To our knowledge there is no other company that does automatic power grid synthesis," he said.

In addition, Blast Power helps reduce leakage that occurs in dynamic power. Integration with the rest of the Magma Blast flow allows users to make trade-offs and gauge the impact of a given design decision on a design's area, timing or power budget, said Patel.

While some custom and point tool techniques support voltage islands, Patel said, users must specify voltage early in a design flow, then ensure that their various analysis tools can identify the islands. "With Blast Power we automate that flow," he said. "Designers specify islands at the RTL/floor-planning stage and the rest of the engines implement based on the initial definition."

Blast Power can be licensed for $295,000 a year. It will be described in presentations titled "Minimize Power in Your Next SoC Design," to be held May 11 in Boston and May 13 in San Diego.

- Michael Santarini

EE Times

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