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Synopsys acquires Magma! And, another one bites the dust!!

December 1, 2011 4 comments

Wow! Yesterday, Synopsys signed a definitive agreement to acquire Magma Design Automation Inc. This news is interesting, and not surprising. This acquisition seemed to be on the cards, but at least, not so soon. Nevertheless!

So, that leaves Synopsys, Cadence and Mentor Graphics as the big three EDA vendors, now that Magma has been acquired.

Just a couple of months back, I was in discussion with Rajeev Madhavan, chairman and CEO, Magma, regarding Silicon One technology solutions on the sidelines of MUSIC India. Magma had outlined five technologies: Talus, Tekton, Titan, FineSim and Excalibur and expected to have the opportunity to be a dominant yield management company.

Where has all of this gone, one wonders! It can safely be assumed that the Silicon One series can very well go on, now under the guidance of Synopsys.  However, it will only add up to boosting the revenues of Synopsys in the long run.

Some time ago, one thought that the EDA industry was having four big players. Now, there are three. In between, there was news such as Cadence trying to acquire Mentor Graphics, which did not happen. Even Magma seemed to be doing fine, at least, till 2006-07.

Thereafter, it has been a slightly different story, with not only the CEO leaving Magma India, and some changes in the Indian management team, as well as certain MUSIC India events with less attendances, and so on. One can accept these as the part and parcel for any industry/organization.

On Magma’s website, there is a statement from Madhavan, which says: “Magma and Synopsys have always shared a common goal of enabling chip designers to improve performance, area and power while reducing turnaround time and costs on complex ICs,” said Rajeev Madhavan, CEO of Magma. “By joining forces now we can ensure that chip designers have access to the advanced technology they need for silicon success at 28, 20 nanometer and below.”

All the best to both Synopsys and Magma!

Magma announces Silicon One strategy

September 7, 2011 Comments off

Rajeev Madhavan, chairman & CEO, Magma.

Rajeev Madhavan, chairman & CEO, Magma.

Magma Design Automation has introduced the Silicon One technology solutions for Magma users in India. This was announced by Rajeev Madhavan, chairman and CEO, Magma, on the sidelines of the MUSIC 2011 in Bangalore, India, this afternoon.

Silicon One aims at making silicon profitable, especially for Magma’s customers. It is a presentation of innovative solutions for advanced analog and digital design challenges. Magma outlined five technologies: Talus, Tekton, Titan, FineSim and Excalibur. The solutions work off a unified database for designing chips that combine analog, digital, memory, etc. Just about a week ago, Magma launched the global Silicon One seminar series in the US, Canada, Korea, China, Taiwan, Japan, Israel and Europe, from Sept. 20 to Nov. 10.

“We are making solutions that customers can use. The global EDA industry is currently worth $4.5-$5 billion today, growing at a rate of 10 percent.” As of now, 21 of the top 25 customers use Magma tools. It happens to be key EDA supplier to some household names in wireless.

Magma currently employs 696 people, of whom 77 percent are in application engineering or R&D. India has 220 (32 percent) employees as of now.

According to Madhavan, Silicon One is a platform of EDA solutions for emerging silicon. The three main pillars are: integration — with a unified data model comprising capacity, concurrent optimization and chip finishing; completeness — comprising full flow IP characterization, design implementation and design verification; and throughput — comprising concurrent analysis and verification.

Magma has built three categories of solutions. These are:

SoC/ASSP: Building killer applications with an entire SoC.
AMS: Building analog mixed signal chips for mobility market.
Memory: Building high-speed memory chips for consumer applications.

Madhavan added: “We are mapping Silicon One solutions to the market. We are touching every single point of the silicon. We are providing a series for platforms — such as digital design (Talus), analog verification (FineSim), analog design (Titan), digital sign-off (Tekton) and yield management (Excalibur). We have the opportunity to be a dominant yield management company.”

Slew of EDA announcements @ DAC 2011

June 6, 2011 Comments off

The Design and Automation Conference (DAC) 2011, kicked off today in San Diego, USA, with its usual slew of announcements. Leading the pack were Magma Design Automation and Cadence Design Systems, along with Synopsys, Mentor Graphics, and several others.

Magma Design Automation Inc. announced a partnership with Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS to develop process-independent Titan FlexCell models of the Institute’s analog intellectual property (IP) cores. It also announced the availability of a netlist-to-GDSII reference flow for GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ 28nm super low-power (SLP) high-k metal-gate (HKMG) technology.

Magma announced the immediate availability of the Titan Analog Design Kit for TSMC 180nm and 65nm processes, that implements Titan’s model-based design methodology with Titan FlexCells, which are modular, process- and specification-independent, reusable analog building blocks.

Magma Design Automation also launched Silicon One, an initiative to bring focus to making silicon profitable for customers by providing differentiated solutions and technologies that address business imperatives facing semiconductor makers today – time to market, product differentiation, cost, power and performance.

Silicon One’s initial focus is on five types of devices that are key to electronic products that are most prevalent today:
* ASIC /ASSP
* Analog/mixed-signal (AMS)
* Memory
*  Processing cores
* SoCs.

Cadence Design Systems Inc. isn’t far behind either!  It announced an array of new technologies incorporated into the new TSMC Reference Flow 12.0 and AMS Reference Flow v2.0 that ensure 28nm production readiness. Cadence also announced a close collaboration with TSMC that will extend its interface IP offering.  With Imec, in Belgium, Cadence announced a new technology that delivers an automated test solution for design teams deploying 3D stacked ICs (3D-ICs).

Cadence also announced the immediate availability of verification IP (VIP) for ARM’s new AMBA 4 Coherency Extensions protocol (ACE), extending its popular VIP catalog and speeding the development of multiprocessor mobile devices. Cadence further outlined the technologies and steps required to move the industry to advanced node design, with a particular focus on 20nm and 28nm design.

Mentor Graphics announced that the Catapult C high-level synthesis tool now supports the synthesis of transaction level models (TLMs). It also announced a unified embedded software debugging platform, from pre-silicon to final product, based on the integration of the Mentor Embedded Sourcery CodeBench embedded software development tools with Mentor’s leading electronic system level (ESL), verification, and hardware emulation products. These include the Mentor Graphics Vista Virtual Prototyping product, Veloce hardware emulator, prototype target boards, and end products or any combination thereof.

Mentor Graphics announced support for 3D-IC in TSMC’s Reference Flow 12.0 (RF12). Solutions for both silicon interposer and through silicon via (TSV) stacked die configurations are now supported by the Calibre physical verification and extraction platform and the Tessent IC test solution.

ARM and Synopsys Inc. have signed an expanded multi-year agreement extending ARM’s access to Synopsys’ innovative EDA technology. ARM will also provide Synopsys with access to the ARM Cortex-A15 processor to maximize performance and energy efficiency of SoCs built by ARM’s Partners using this advanced ARM processor and Synopsys tools. Read more…

Clear mixed signals from Magma @ MUSIC India!


Rajeev Madhavan, chairman and CEO, Magma. speaking at MUSIC 2010.

Rajeev Madhavan, chairman and CEO, Magma. speaking at MUSIC 2010.

Clearly, Magma Design Automation is banking heavily on mixed signal designs, as well as analog, as evident from the number of announcements made at the MUSIC India 2010.

Rajeev Madhavan, chairman and CEO, Magma, stated in his keynote: “A few years ago, we observed that most customers were moving toward mixed signal designs. Four years ago, we started investing in a lot of analog areas and mixed signal areas. He added that Magma had introduced five new products this month, and five others were slated for release later this year.

New product announcements
At MUSIC India 2010, Madhavan made several new product announcements. First, the Tekton — next generation static timing analysis (STA) tool. “We already have 32 beta sites under way,” he said. A tradiotional STA tool apparently has about 21 scenarios and it possibly takes over two hours runtime per scenario. With Tekton, the runtime gets reduced to less than 30 minutes for all of the 21 scenarios.

Magma announced the QCP — the standalone extraction tool as well. This scalable tool features an advanced architecture, which claims to deliver 10x performance. Another announcement was made about the SiliconSmart ACE memory characterization tool.

Magma also announced the Titan ADX v2.0, its analog IP optimization software. Madhavan added, “We have provided all of the base library of IP with the tools.” It has been licensed it to the largest fabless company (or fab? both names were taken!), with the release likely to be made in June 2010. v2.0 features auto mapping.

The fifth product announcement was about the FineSIM Fast Monte Carlo, which is being used by TSMC. Fast Monte Carlo uses a unique statistical approach to significantly reduce the number of simulations required to determine yield.

Magma’s product updates
Madhavan also announced some product updates. One, Magma has been managing ‘big chips’ on Hydra, an auto interactive floorplanning and hierarchical design planning solution. Advanced hierarchical aware capabilities automate complex tasks. There is 10 percent reduction in TAT (turnaround time) for macro placement vs. manual approach. Two, it is managing ‘big blocks’ with Talus. This is v1.1, and has a new MCMM accelerator.

Three, Magma’s momentum continues with the Titan. Twelve customers are said to be using this tool. Madhavan also updated on the Quartz DRC and LVS — which are ready to go. AMD, Samsung, Nvidia, etc. are among the users.

Finally, FineSIM SPICE and FineSIM Pro. This is said to have been a big success for Magma. Madhavan also added that there will be some unique technology announcements from Magma in the June time frame. “We have five very new technologies that will be launched at DAC 2010,” he added.

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