6/25/2002 - Magma® Design Automation, Inc. (Nasdaq: LAVA), a provider of chip design solutions, announced that Magma's Blast FusionTM physical design system and Blast PlanTM hierarchical design solution were successfully used in the design of the groundbreaking Wildcat® VP professional graphics accelerator family announced separately by 3Dlabs®, Inc., a Creative Company (Nasdaq: CREAF).
3Dlabs has commenced production shipment with the first-pass silicon of the 18 million-gate Wildcat VP Visual Processing Unit (VPU) - its largest, most complex graphics processor to date. The massive VPU design is the first to employ 3Dlabs' revolutionary "Visual Processing Architecture" that combines the architectural strengths and programmability of general-purpose CPUs with extreme levels of hardware parallelism.
The 3Dlabs Wildcat VPU includes 415 macros in addition to complex logic design and was implemented hierarchically using just 17 blocks, the largest of which was nearly two million gates. Despite the size and complexity of the design and a newly adopted customer-owned tooling (COT) flow, 3Dlabs was able to complete the design on schedule with a small team of engineers. The high-speed VPU was fabricated in a 0.15 micron process using Artisan Components libraries.
"Blast Fusion enabled us to design and deliver a very large, highly complex graphics processor design," said Paul Pontin, vice president of chip engineering for 3Dlabs. "With 10X more capacity than conventional implementation tool flows and the GlassBoxTM abstraction technology, Magma's system enabled us to optimally partition the device according to the needs of the design team and handle very large blocks. Overall utilization was very high, at 85 to 90 percent, and turnaround time was impressive. There's no way we could have completed this design using any other EDA tool."
"We've been working with 3Dlabs for more than three years and we're very pleased that they continue to use our system for their most challenging designs," said Rajeev Madhavan, CEO of Magma Design Automation. "Repeatable design success, especially on cutting-edge designs such as 3Dlabs', clearly demonstrates our software's ability to handle large designs and address deep submicron process technologies."
The Fully Scalable, Programmable VPU Architecture
Wildcat VP uses 3Dlabs' groundbreaking Visual Processing Architecture to integrate over 200 32-bit processors into a single Visual Processing Unit (VPU) for a staggering 200 GFlops and 1.2 TeraOp of programmable power together with a full 256-bit DDR memory interface for up to 20 GBytes/sec of memory bandwidth. Wildcat VP's power and flexibility provide industrial-strength 2D and 3D performance, quality and functionality for OpenGL® and Direct3D® applications.
Compiler-friendly programmability throughout the entire Wildcat VP pipeline provides a superset of traditional graphics processor functionality and is a step toward interactive Renderman-class rendering through emerging high-level shading languages that extend the boundaries of interactive visual realism.
"Wildcat VP is the first graphics family that combines great support for today's graphics applications with a new class of programmability that will redefine the very meaning of graphics acceleration," said Neil Trevett, senior vice president of market development for 3Dlabs. "Architectural advances of this magnitude are only possible by leveraging silicon technology to the maximum - and using the best available design tools to do that. Magma's technology and round-the-clock support were critical to the success of this ambitious design."
Blast Fusion: Integrated Physical Design System Delivers Higher Capacity
Unlike conventional flows, Magma systems use gain-based synthesis and the FixedTiming® methodology. This unique approach provides an order of magnitude improvement in capacity and runtime over conventional implementation systems and ensures that each cell is sized according to the actual wireload. FixedTiming ensures that circuits are well balanced electrically and that layouts are more compact and use less power than layouts derived using conventional approaches.
In addition to providing advanced synthesis and place & route technology, Magma's systems are based on the industry's only unified data model architecture. Magma's single data model contains all the logical and physical information about the design and is resident in core memory during execution. The tight integration of tools and data allow more accurate analysis of the design, and enable the system to make rapid tradeoff decisions during the design process to optimize for better chip performance, area and power.
Blast Plan's GlassBox Abstraction: Managing Complexity, Improving Accuracy
To help designers better manage the massive amount of design data of designs such as the Wildcat VPU, Magma's Blast Plan hierarchical solution employs data reduction techniques that minimize the amount of data required at various stages in the flow without sacrificing accuracy. Data reduction techniques are applied to completed hierarchical blocks to yield "GlassBox" models. These compact, memory-efficient models retain the full timing and layout extraction accuracy of the entire block without having to retain the full detail of the block contents. This approach provides a very efficient means for optimizing the global timing and chip assembly at the top-level of the design without consuming large amounts of memory.
3Dlabs, a Creative Company, supplies graphics accelerator solutions to a broad range of professionals including the Computer Aided Design (CAD), Digital Content Creation (DCC), and visual simulation markets. Its award-winning Oxygen® and WildcatTM graphics are available in the industry's leading OEM workstations, to the channel through an international distributor/reseller network, and directly to end-users at 3Dlabs' online store. For more information on 3Dlabs and the new Wildcat VP, visit www.3dlabs.com
About Magma Design Automation
Magma software products enable chip designers to reduce the time required to design and produce complex integrated circuits in the communications, computing, consumer electronics, networking and semiconductor industries. Magma provides a single executable for RTL-to-GDSII chip design. The company's products, Blast FusionTM, Blast Chip®, Blast PlanTM, Blast NoiseTM and Blast PrototypeTM 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.; Laurys Station, Pa.; Austin and Dallas, Texas; Newcastle, Wash.; and in 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 www.magma-da.com
Magma, Blast Chip and FixedTiming are registered trademarks and Blast Fusion, Blast Noise, Blast Plan, Blast Prototype, Diamond SI and GlassBox are trademarks of Magma Design Automation. 3Dlabs and Wildcat are registered trademarks of 3Dlabs Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. OpenGL is a registered trademark of SGI. All other product and company names are trademarks and registered trademarks of their respective companies.
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