Mentor Accelerates Engineering Change Order Processes with ECO Cockpit

12/16/2003 - Mentor Graphics Corporation (Nasdaq: MENT) announced the availability of the Engineering Change Order (ECO) Cockpit integrated into the IC Station® custom integrated circuit (IC) layout environment. The ECO Cockpit offers significant productivity benefits by enabling IC designers to rapidly identify changes in a design's logic source versus existing layout, and easily fix the changes, either interactively or automatically, with the click of a button.

As design complexity increases and cycle times shrink, physical design often starts well before the logic design is finalized. Consequently, ECOs - which occur when specifications change after layout has begun - are both necessary and common. ECOs may include changes such as modifications to instances, net connections and names, device properties and types, or the addition or deletion of devices and components. While ECOs are very common in custom IC design, finding and fixing them in the layout has traditionally been a slow, cumbersome process that decreases layout productivity and often causes significant delays in the design cycle.

The new ECO Cockpit enables designers to automatically compare differences between a revised logic source-either a schematic or netlist-and the current layout, rather than manually searching for them. The tool provides a detailed report on all ECOs categorized by the type of change. Then it allows users to visually cross-probe to find the location of each change, and selectively fix the change or ignore it if it does not affect the layout. Designers can choose to utilize the ECO Cockpit's automated features to fix each discrepancy with the click of a mouse, or do so manually, using the IC Station tool's editing and routing features. In both cases, users retain full control over the final outcome to ensure custom-quality layout.

"The main advantage of the ECO Cockpit is that it can automatically go in and fix discrepancies between a revised schematic and the layout," said John Dorsey, IC layout manager, ON Semiconductor. "With the ECO Cockpit, we don't have to go in and research, or hunt for the differences, as in 'where's the property or size or shape that is causing the problem?' The tool takes care of it for you. It helped us meet some very tight deadlines on three recent design projects and is now an integral part of our design flow."

"ECOs are simply a way of life, a recurring challenge that all design teams must contend with," said Jue-Hsien Chern, vice president and general manager, deep submicron division, Mentor Graphics. "But the ECO Cockpit minimizes the delays that result from ECOs. We've developed the Cockpit to give mixed-signal layout designers a powerful, productivity-enhancing tool that doesn't force them to relinquish control over the quality of their designs."

The ECO Cockpit also promotes easier design re-use and process migration. Layouts of legacy IP can be re-targeted to a new process by using the ECO Cockpit to automatically change process-dependent parameters such as transistor lengths and widths. Then, using IC Station's editing, routing, and compaction commands, users can complete the design's layout.

The ECO cockpit is currently available at no additional charge to all current and new customers of IC Station. More information is available at or by calling 1-800-547-3000.

Mentor Graphics Integrated AMS SoC Design Tools
Mentor Graphics delivers superior technology for AMS SoC design, from capture and simulation through physical implementation, verification and analysis. The tool set includes the Design Architect®-IC product, with a powerful AMS SoC design cockpit, and the IC Station custom layout solution for connectivity-driven physical design, top-level floor planning and routing. The ADVance MSTM tool is a single-kernel, language-independent simulation environment for digital, analog, mixed-signal and RF circuits. The Calibre® and Calibre xRCTM tools deliver the industry's highest capacity, performance and accuracy for physical verification and parasitic extraction. This fully integrated set of tools is available immediately for Linux, HP and Sun platforms.

About Mentor Graphics Corporation
Mentor Graphics Corporation (Nasdaq: MENT) is a world leader in electronic hardware and software design solutions, providing products, consulting services and award-winning support for the world's most successful electronics and semiconductor companies. Established in 1981, the company reported revenues over the last 12 months of about $650 million and employs approximately 3,600 people worldwide. Corporate headquarters are located at 8005 S.W. Boeckman Road, Wilsonville, Oregon 97070-7777; Silicon Valley headquarters are located at 1001 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, California 95131-2314. World Wide Web site:

Mentor Graphics, IC Station, Design Architect and Calibre are registered trademarks and Advance MS and Calibre xRC are trademarks of Mentor Graphics Corporation.

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