Atmel and Astek Announce New SOC Design Partnership

11/13/2002 - Atmel® and Astek announced that they have entered into a strategic partnership committed to helping customers get to market with a first pass success. Astek's Application Testing and Total Emulation of System Technology (ATTESTTM) accelerates time-to-market for System-On-Chip (SOC) devices. ATTEST is a hardware emulation and verification process methodology that can perform up to three levels of verification prior to a hard silicon commitment. ATTEST emulates and verifies the proper functionality of the SOC device, including internal and external hardware interfaces, and insures that the device works correctly with any embedded firmware or high-level application software.

ATTEST is a verification methodology that extends the traditional means of functional simulations and significantly increases a designer's chance of having a first-pass success. It can be used on low, medium, and high gate count ASICs and should be used where time to market and first pass success are critical. Offered as an optional service for any ASIC development, ATTEST is only about 25% of the cost of a re-spin in 0.18-micron technology, so the return on investment is incredible.

ATTEST is different from other hardware emulation platforms because it integrates seamlessly into the ASIC RTL database, requires absolute minimum RTL modifications between ASIC and FPGA builds, and enables the designer to verify new or modified RTL code at the system level within hours. Using Astek's new design verification process and Atmel's SOC product line, not only do customer's designs get into production faster, but with a higher level of assurance of first pass success.

"Customers love ATTEST. They understand only too well that even one critical error means a costly new mask set. Our ATTEST program has detected at least one error and often more, for all of our customers" said Kevin Guy, President of Astek.

"The collaboration between Atmel and Astek accelerates Atmel's ability to provide everything essential from architecture through prototype," said Jay Johnson, Director of North American ASIC/ASSP Marketing for Atmel Corporation. "As an extension of Atmel's proven design capabilities, latest IP portfolio, design tools and manufacturing processes, this partnership adds more value to any design and it's all backed by Atmel's commitment to the SOC market and our own fabs. We are in control, so your design and production stays in control."

How do they do that?
The ATTEST verification methodology requires a custom hardware platform. This platform is based on a modification of the actual system hardware, substituting multiple high-end FPGAs and discrete CPUs for the SOC device. All other system level components are used as though the SOC device was in the system. This technique can be used for both simple and complex hardware designs.

One of the unique advantages of ATTEST is that it partitions the actual SOC RTL code between FPGAs and embedded CPUs to deliver the most accurate hardware emulation of a future SOC device. The custom hardware platform created to mimic the actual system hardware is a verification engine that can be used to simulate the interactions of the SOC, system level hardware, firmware and applications level software concurrently. For customers with a critical need to speed their time to market, with concurrent engineering and a first pass success, ATTEST is the answer.

It's all about SOCs
Atmel offers its ASICs in various technologies from the cost effective .35 micron embedded nonvolatile memory to its .25-micron and .18-micron technologies, all run in Atmel's own state-of-the-art fabs. Atmel's processor cores range from 200+MIPS ARM cores to Atmel's own AVR? RISC, the world's fastest 8-bit microcontroller. Atmel's forte is embedding its leading edge nonvolatile memory or EEPROM, along with today's most popular peripherals. This completes the total SOC offering.

About Atmel
Founded in 1984, Atmel Corporation is headquartered in San Jose, California, with manufacturing facilities in North America and Europe. Atmel designs, manufactures and markets worldwide, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory and RF semiconductors. Atmel is also a leading provider of system-level integration semiconductor solutions using CMOS, BiCMOS, SiGe, and high-voltage BCDMOS process technologies.

About Astek
Astek Corporation is a rapidly growing company providing Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC), Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA), board level, software, and firmware design services. Located in the shadow of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs, Colorado, we are committed to providing top-quality services ranging from augmentation of engineering staff to turnkey solutions.

Atmel, the Atmel logo and combinations thereof and others contained herein, are trademarks of Atmel Corporation. ATTEST is a trademark of Astek.

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