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Prolific offers tool to assure signal integrity

Posted: 01 Jun 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:prolific? protiming? timing optimizer? synopsys? primetime si?

Library-generation tool vendor Prolific Inc. is announcing that the latest version of ProTiming, its timing optimizer, works with Synopsys Inc.'s PrimeTime SI static tool and can automatically repair signal integrity problems in the IC implementation tool flow. The previous release ran with the non-SI version of PrimeTime to fix timing issues.

"Instead of using PrimeTime SI, customers use ProTiming, which calls PrimeTimeSI," said Paul de Dood, founder and president of Prolific. "ProTiming will go and fix SI problems, as well as timing problems." ProTiming finds problem cells and speeds up their drive strengths to remedy timing and signal integrity issues. "Our tool looks at the library, parasitics and the critical path and it comes up with the best solution," de Dood said.

Designers feed the tool a Verilog netlist as well as the scripts for PrimeTimeSI. "The tool will go through and make changes as needed and as new problems pop up it will fix them as well," said de Dood. "Once it's done making changes, it outputs those as a new Verilog netlist, which is then read back into the place and route flow as an ECO [engineering change order]."

"If you have timing, power or SI problems, you generally have to go back to synthesis or place and route and change constraint files, telling the router to limit wire lengths, for example," said VP of marketing Dan Nenni. "Users run our tool during signoff and the tool fixes problems, allowing users to move on to the next phase of design."

The tool usually gives designs a 5 to 20 percent timing improvement, as reported by PrimeTime, de Dood said.

Released last year, ProTiming is now used by more than 20 large customers, including Advanced Micro Devices, Motorola and Texas Instruments, Nenni said.

"We have microprocessor design customers who get a 5 to 10 percent performance improvement just by running this," he said.

A three-year time-based license is priced at $375,000.

- Mike Santarini

EE Times

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