Magma Further Accelerates RTL-to-Silicon Flow With New Blast Fusion APX

12/17/2002 - Magma® Design Automation, Inc. (Nasdaq: LAVA), a provider of chip design solutions, introduced Blast Fusion APXTM Advanced Physical Design System for very high-performance, high-complexity nanometer designs. The new product provides a complete netlist-to-GDSII flow including placement, routing, timing and extraction, with twice the capacity, half the runtime and a 50 percent smaller memory footprint than the previous release of Blast Fusion. Blast Fusion APX also includes low power design and advanced timing analysis capabilities that allow it to address the requirements of nanometer processes during the implementation flow, reducing time-consuming and error inducing iterations due to nanometer process effects.

"With IC providers having to cope with smaller budgets, fewer engineers and shorter design cycles, an integrated circuit (IC) implementation system's ability to handle larger designs, reduce runtime and minimize costs is critical to their success today," said Rochelle Perry Drenan, senior product marketing director of Magma Design Automation. "Magma has made significant improvements in these areas and our customers are leveraging these new capabilities to minimize the design cycle of their complex, high-performance designs.

Proven Higher Capacity and Smaller Memory Footprint
Blast Fusion APX has been benchmarked against existing point tool flows and version 3.1 of Blast Fusion and tested on customer designs. A recent benchmark of a 400K cell design shows Blast Fusion APX with a memory footprint of less than half its competition. Throughout the entire physical design flow, peak memory of only 2GB was required, while competitive flows required as much as 5.5GB. Memory usage is even more efficient for very large designs. For example, when Magma took an existing 657K cell customer design through Blast Fusion APX, only 2.3GB of peak memory was required. When Magma took a 1.2M cell design through Blast Fusion APX, only 3.5GB of peak memory was required. Because it has an extremely small memory footprint, Magma users typically run Blast Fusion on single CPU, 32-bit Linux platforms with 4GB RAM. For very large designs, existing flows typically use multi-CPU, 64-bit platforms with 10GB or more RAM.

Integrated Architecture and Unified Data Model Key to Improvements and New Nanometer Design Capabilities
Magma's unique integrated architecture and single data model were key to enabling the improvements and to building in support for the new low power design and advanced timing analysis capabilities. To enable the capacity, runtime and memory footprint improvements, Magma implemented new algorithms and optimized the structure of the data model. Since Blast Fusion APX is a fully integrated netlist-to-GDSII flow, the entire IC design flow can run faster and use less memory.

Magma was also able to extend its signoff-quality timing engine to include on-chip variation (OCV) effects throughout the Blast Fusion APX flow. The effects of pessimism induced by common paths are removed to increase the accuracy of OCV analysis. Unique to Magma, OCV analysis is performed during the IC implementation flow, rather than during a post-layout timing verification phase where timing failures due to OCV are detected and iterations are required to correct it. This approach provides a correct-by-design timing methodology for nanometer technologies.

Magma is the first to deliver a series of new capabilities to support 90-nanometer technology within a fully unified netlist-to-GDSII environment. For example, at 90 nanometer multiple threshold voltage libraries (multi-Vt) will become mainstream, allowing designs to have reduced leakage current through the selection of high Vt (low leakage power) cells for non-critical paths and low Vt (high leakage power) cells for the critical paths. During its FixedTiming® optimization phase, Blast Fusion APX automatically selects the best cell such that timing is met while power is minimized.

Pricing and Availability
Blast Fusion APX is currently shipping and has a list price of $600K per year for a 3-year time-based license.

About Magma Design Automation
Magma software is used to design fast, multimillion-gate integrated circuits, providing the "Fastest Path from RTL to Silicon"TM to enable chip designers to reduce the time required to produce complex ICs. Magma's products for prototyping, synthesis, and place & route provide a single executable for RTL-to-GDSII chip design. The company's Blast FusionTM, Blast Fusion APXTM, Blast PlanTM, Blast Noise® and Blast RTLTM products utilize Magma's proprietary FixedTiming® methodology and single data model architecture to reduce the timing-closure iterations often required between the logic and physical processes in conventional IC design flows. Magma's Diamond SITM also leverages the single data model architecture to provide an integrated, standalone platform for post-layout, sign-off-quality signal integrity verification.

Magma maintains headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., as well as sales and support facilities in Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego, Calif.; Boston, Mass.; Durham, N.C.; Austin and Dallas, Texas; Newcastle, Wash.; and in Canada, China, Germany, Israel, Japan, Korea, The Netherlands, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. The company's stock trades on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol LAVA. Visit Magma Design Automation on the Web at

Magma, Blast Noise and FixedTiming are registered trademarks and Blast Fusion, Blast Fusion APX, Blast Plan, Blast RTL, Diamond SI and "Fastest Path from RTL to Silicon" are trademarks of Magma Design Automation.

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