NEC Electronics, Synplicity to Develop Custom Physical Synthesis Software

10/27/2003 - NEC Electronics and Synplicity Expand Structured ASIC Agreement NEC Electronics Corp. (TSE: 6723) and its global affiliates and Synplicity Inc. (Nasdaq: SYNP), a leading supplier of software for the design and verification of semiconductors, announced an expansion of their joint development and marketing agreement. Under terms of the expanded agreement, Synplicity and NEC Electronics will work together to develop the Amplify® ISSPTM Physical OptimizerTM software, an optimized physical synthesis tool for NEC Electronics’ Instant Silicon Solution PlatformTM (ISSP) Structured ASICs. The customized physical synthesis software will uniquely target the ISSP1 and ISSP2 architectures, providing customers with a highly productive physical synthesis solution that delivers optimal results, allowing NEC Electronics customers to achieve their design goals quickly.

NEC Electronics’ ISSP devices provide a cost-effective, high-function, easy-to-design, fast turn-around ASIC architecture ideal for designs requiring low- to mid-range production volumes. To leverage the ISSP architecture with key design automation productivity enhancements, NEC Electronics has established the ISSP EDA Vendor Alliance Program, one of three parts of NEC Electronics’ ISSP Open Alliance Program. The Open Alliance Program was created to give customers access to third-party IP, EDA tools and certified design houses for easy development of ISSP-based solutions. Synplicity is a charter member of the program, and through this relationship NEC Electronics and Synplicity share a history of design tool development that includes the announcement of a custom synthesis mapping technology for Structured ASICs with Synplify ASIC® for ISSP.

“The availability of effective design tools is a key enabler of our easy-to-design ISSP silicon platform,” said Dr. Hitoshi Yoshizawa, general manager, 3rd custom LSI division, NEC Electronics. “Over the past year, we have leveraged Synplicity’s extensive expertise in synthesis technology to jointly develop an optimized version of their Synplify ASIC® synthesis software to support our ISSP architecture. These efforts to provide customers with superior design tools has helped NEC Electronics earn numerous design wins for the ISSP platform and enforce our leading position in the Structured ASIC market. By expanding our relationship with Synplicity to include development of custom physical synthesis software, our customers will be able to achieve advanced performance goals using our ISSP devices. We are pleased to recommend Synplicity as a synthesis tool provider to our customers.”

“With the ISSP devices, NEC Electronics has established itself as a leader in the Structured ASIC market. For customers to fully utilize the ISSP silicon platform, they must have access to a physical synthesis engine customized for that specific architecture,” said Joe Gianelli, director of business development and strategic alliances at Synplicity. “In working with NEC Electronics to develop a high-performance, high-capacity ASIC physical synthesis solution optimized for ISSP devices, we believe we will deliver to its customers a highly automated, accurate and user-friendly synthesis solution. We believe customers using the Amplify ISSP software in the design and development of ISSP1 and ISSP2 devices will be more productive, by turning more highly optimized designs in less time and at significantly lower design costs.”

About Amplify ISSP
The Amplify ISSP Physical Optimizer software carries forward into physical synthesis the joint R&D efforts between NEC Electronics and Synplicity that began in June of 2002. The Amplify ISSP software is expected to perform automatic memory block placement, concurrent full-chip (top-down) legalized placement and customized physical synthesis, timing analysis, and ISSP-specific datapath and arithmetic operator generation. The Amplify ISSP software is expected to be capable of handling any size of design for ISSP flat, without having to partition the design for synthesis, leading to substantially improved area and run time. Timing closure of complex designs will be a key benefit of the Amplify ISSP software, with tight correlation to NEC Electronics’ place-and-route environment, providing a one-pass flow for users of the Amplify ISSP software. Synplicity expects the Amplify ISSP software to be available for ISSP1 and ISSP2 customers in the first quarter of 2004 worldwide.

About ISSP
The ISSP architecture was designed to serve the growing number of applications that require higher complexity and performance than an FPGA but cannot bear the high development costs associated with cell-based ASICs. Each NEC Electronics’ ISSP design begins with a prefabricated master made up of an array of complex multi-gates, embedded IP cores, built-in test circuits, clock domains and power lines. The upper metal layers are easily and quickly placed, routed and fabricated to satisfy the unique requirements of each individual design. ISSP-based products consume much less power than a comparable FPGA and also have lower NRE costs than cell-based ASIC devices.

About NEC Electronics
NEC Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723) specializes in semiconductor products encompassing advanced technology solutions for the high-end computing and broadband networking markets, system solutions for the mobile handsets, PC peripherals, automotive and digital consumer markets, and platform solutions for a wide range of customer applications. NEC Electronics Corporation has 24 subsidiaries worldwide including NEC Electronics America, Inc. and NEC Electronics (Europe) GmbH. In addition to marketing, selling and supporting NEC Electronics products to customers in their respective regions, NEC Electronics America and NEC Electronics Europe also operate local manufacturing facilities in Roseville, California, and Ballivor, Ireland, respectively. Additionally, NEC Electronics America for North America and NEC Electronics Europe for Europe are the sales and marketing channels of NEC AM-LCD and PDP modules. For additional information about NEC Electronics worldwide, visit

About Synplicity
Synplicity Inc. (Nasdaq: SYNP) is a leading provider of software products that enable the rapid and effective design and verification of semiconductors used in networking and communications, computer and peripheral, consumer and military/aerospace electronics systems. Recognizing the company's industry-leading position, since the year 2000 Dataquest has named Synplicity as the #1 provider of PLD synthesis tools, announcing a 54 percent market share in 2001. Synplicity leverages its innovative logic synthesis, physical synthesis and verification software solutions to improve performance and shorten development time for complex programmable logic devices, application specific integrated circuits (ASICs), Structured ASICs and system-on-chip (SoC) integrated circuits. The company’s fast, easy-to-use products offer high quality of results, support industry-standard design languages (VHDL and Verilog) and run on popular platforms. Synplicity employs over 260 people in its 20 facilities worldwide. Synplicity is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif. For more information on Synplicity, visit

Instant Silicon Solution Platform, ISSP1, ISSP2 and NEC Electronics are either trademarks or registered trademarks of NEC Electronics Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Synplicity, Synplify ASIC and Amplify are registered trademarks of Synplicity Inc. Physical Optimizer is a trademark of Synplicity Inc.

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