Mentor's Platform Express Product Supports SPIRIT 1.0 Specification

12/10/2004 - Mentor Graphics® (Nasdaq: MENT) announced that the Platform ExpressTM product, the company's preeminent XML-based rapid system-on-chip (SoC) design creation tool, supports the SPIRIT 1.0 specification for intellectual property (IP) design re-use. Released recently, SPIRIT 1.0 defines a standard XML data set to ease IP integration issues during the SoC design process.

"The success of SPIRIT depends on EDA vendors supporting the standard with their tools. Mentor is a technology contributor and active participant in creating the SPIRIT standard, so it's great to see this work being successfully deployed in Platform Express," said Ralph von Vignau, Chairman of SPIRIT and Director Technology & Standards of Philips Semiconductors, Chief Technology Office - Re-use Technology Group.

As SoC designs grow larger and more sophisticated, the task of integrating complex IP blocks into a system becomes increasingly labor intensive and time consuming. The SPIRIT 1.0 standard enables IP providers to create an IP databook in XML, documenting features, data files and configurability options for IP. Platform Express uses the SPIRIT 1.0 XML data to automate the painstaking IP integration process, leaving designers with more time to evaluate the performance of the IP block, its behavior and performance in the system context, explore design alternatives, and focus engineering resources on design features that differentiate the end product.

"Mentor Graphics pioneered key XML-based design and IP re-use concepts with Platform Express, enabling designers to automatically configure IP into working designs," said Serge Leef, general manager, System-on-Chip Verification Division, Mentor Graphics. "As a founding member of the SPIRIT Consortium, Mentor has worked to evolve its tools so designers can easily leverage a range of SPIRIT-compatible IP blocks in their SoCs."

Platform Express is IP, bus and processor architecture, and design tool agnostic, enabling designers to create multi-processor designs with any mix of bus architectures and IP providers to add support for their proprietary buses, processors and design tools. The tool conducts all database processing functions at an XML level in an open and infinitely extensible way. Additionally Platform Express is accompanied by a wide range of generator functions to process both SPIRIT and the Platform Express XML information, generating many different representations of sophisticated SoC designs. Standard generator functions include full Verilog and VHDL design creation; testbench creation; level-one diagnostics software to execute on the design; and HTML design documentation.

Designs created in the Platform Express tool are automatically configured to leverage most popular verification tools including the Mentor Graphics ModelSim® and Seamless® products.

Platform Express is available now and can be downloaded from the Mentor Web site (, to start designing with the example IP libraries in just a few minutes. Availability of SPIRIT XML support is scheduled for Q1 2005.

The Structure for Packaging, Integrating and Re-using IP within Tool-flows (SPIRIT) consortium was created to develop a standard for more efficient integration of IP in System-on-Chip (SoC) platform design in two areas: IP meta-data description and a tool integration API. The consortium is comprised of leading EDA, IP and system and semiconductor companies, including ARM, Cadence Design Systems Inc., Mentor Graphics, Royal Philips Electronics, STMicroelectronics and Synopsys, Inc. For more information or to become a member of SPIRIT visit

About Mentor Graphics
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 $675 million and employs approximately 3,800 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 is a registered trademark and Platform Express is a trademark of Mentor Graphics Corporation.

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