More Than 300 Licenses Adopts Magma Synthesis Solution

10/14/2003 - Magma® Design Automation Inc. (Nasdaq: LAVA), a provider of chip design solutions, announced that the company has reached key milestones in its synthesis roadmap, indicating fast-growing market acceptance and strengthening the company's position in the IC implementation market. Since its release in April of this year, more than 30 new and existing Magma customers have purchased Blast CreateTM 4.0 and six designs have already taped out successfully. Designers are leveraging Blast Create's capabilities on multimillion-gate, high-speed designs to identify and fix problems prior to layout, reducing design costs and development cycles.

Broadcom has taped out a 15-million-gate network switching device, Infrant has taped out a 250 MHz, 3-million-gate network storage design and Chrontel has taped out a 200 MHz mixed-signal multi-media design using Magma software. In eight accompanying announcements released today, Magma details these design successes as well as ASIC, EDA, and library vendor support and design service provider support for Blast Create - the industry's fastest and highest-capacity RTL-to-placed-gates solution.

Study Confirms Stability of Magma's RTL-to-GDSII Flow
Howard Landman, well known for his 1997 landmark study of synthesis tools, recently evaluated Magma's system. In the original study he repeatedly synthesized several designs using two different synthesis tools. Each time he synthesized the designs he would slightly modify the constraints, then comparing the resulting area and timing. In April of this year he conducted a similar study using Magma's complete RTL-to-GDSII system.

"In my original study of the traditional synthesis tools, I found that tiny changes to the design constraints could make the area and timing results vary quite a lot. There was significant unpredictability, which created headaches for designers. Although the tools have improved some in the last 6 years, many designers are still trying to work around this unpredictability by over-constraining their synthesis by 10, 15, or even 20 percent or more - in effect, lying to the tool to get it to do what they want," said Landman, an ASIC design consultant and frequent contributor of respected commentary to synthesis discussion websites. "When I implemented designs using Magma's integrated RTL-to-GDSII flow, small variations in timing constraints and the floorplan produced relatively stable results-especially in area, which was very smooth over most of the range of interest. Further, it seemed unnecessary to over-constrain the Magma tools at all in most cases. The exceptions I saw were for layouts that were highly congested, where pushing timing by a few percent was sometimes desirable. Overall, I was favorably impressed with the stability in the quality of results that Magma's complete flow offers. It seems to make the dream of correct-by-construction, one-pass synthesis and layout much closer to reality."

Howard Landman's study of the Magma flow can be found online at:

"I have 20 years of experience in RTL design, teaching front-end design and design consulting. I know that poor design decisions made during synthesis cause major issues in the back end," said Yatin Trivedi, director of product marketing at Magma. "Magma's unique approach to synthesis produces superior results because it eliminates the wasted effort and errors made by conventional synthesis flows. Our customers consistently get 5 to15 percent improvements in area, timing and power - in one tenth of the time. With over 300 licenses currently already in use, we believe it is the most rapidly adopted synthesis solution in EDA history and that this indicates a growing recognition in the market that wire-load-based synthesis and point-tool approaches just do not work for today's designs."

Magma Reports Growing Industry Support for Blast Create
Magma is working with various partners to provide mutual customers with a smooth concept-to-silicon flow.

Silicon Vendors
In production and test designs, Blast Create has demonstrated its ability to eliminate layout-to-synthesis iterations, streamlining the handoff between ASIC designers and ASIC vendors. As a result, leading ASIC vendors are in the process of qualifying it for handoff.

NEC has already qualified the flow and has announced that physical or placed-gates netlists generated by Blast Create are being accepted as ASIC handoff. More information about Magma's work with NEC is available in a separate news release issued today.

EDA, Library and IP Vendors
Blast Create is based on the same unified data model as Magma's physical design solution. This data model is fully accessible through Tcl and supports industry-standard input and output file formats. Interoperability with all major EDA tools has already been established for Magma's physical design tools. Magma is working with key EDA vendors to ensure interoperability between their tools and Blast Create. These tools include formal verification, ATPG, BIST, DFT and RTL debug tools. More information about Magma's work with Veritools is available in a separate news release issued today.

Blast Create also uses the same libraries as Magma's physical design solution. Magma's current library and IP vendor partners, including Artisan and Virage Logic, can support Blast Create with no additional effort.

Design Service Providers
Qthink, Spike Technologies, Fastrack Design and other design service providers have been trained on Magma's complete RTL-to-GDSII design flow. With the adoption of Blast Create, Qthink extends its expertise using Magma's system to include synthesis. Spike has joined the MagmaTies program and has started using Blast Create for a large turnkey design. Fastrack Design is currently using Blast Create for a 4-million-gate design. More information about Magma's work with Qthink, Spike Technologies and Fastrack Design is available in a separate news release issued today.

About Blast Create
Blast Create is an RTL-to-placed-gates system that enables logic designers to synthesize, visualize, evaluate and improve the quality of their RTL code, design constraints, testability requirements and floorplan. Blast Create integrates fast, full-featured, high-capacity logic and physical synthesis capabilities, full and incremental static timing analysis, design for test (DFT) analysis and synthesis, and power analysis. Unlike conventional point-tool front-end flows, Blast Create does not rely on wireload models or inaccurate physical design data. With Blast Create's high capacity and integrated technology, designers can quickly build and analyze a flat, multimillion-gate design. This allows them to identify and fix problems early in the flow, ensuring a clean handoff between the RTL designer and the layout engineer, providing a predictable path to timing closure and accelerating the RTL-to-GDSII design flow. Both Verilog and VHDL hardware definition languages (HDLs) are supported. Blast Create accepts design constraints in SDC format and libraries in .lib format, avoiding the need and cost of adapting Blast Create to existing logic design environments.

About Magma Design Automation
Magma software is used to design fast, multimillion-gate integrated circuits, providing "The Fastest Path from RTL to Silicon"TM, enabling 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 CreateTM, Blast Fusion®, Blast Fusion APXTM, Blast PlanTM and Blast Noise® products utilize Magma's patented 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 also provides PALACETM and ArchEvaluatorTM advanced physical synthesis and architecture development tools for programmable logic devices (PLDs).The company's stock trades on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol LAVA. Visit Magma Design Automation on the Web at

Magma, Blast Fusion, Blast Noise and FixedTiming are registered trademarks, and ArchEvaluator, Blast Create, Blast Fusion APX, Blast Plan, Blast Rail, PALACE and "The Fastest Path from RTL to Silicon" are trademarks of Magma Design Automation.

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