Cadence Supports VHDL with Encounter RTL Compiler Ultra Synthesis Tool

2/18/2004 - Cadence Design Systems, Inc. (NYSE: CDN) announced Cadence® EncounterTM RTL Compiler Ultra synthesis tool with support for VHDL. Encounter RTL Compiler synthesis is a key component of the Encounter digital IC design platform and a critical step in the fastest route to superior silicon. Supporting the Cadence multi-language strategy, Encounter RTL Compiler Ultra synthesis works with existing Verilog® and VHDL design flows to increase chip performance, decrease design times, and provide the highest quality of silicon (QoS) for Cadence customers throughout the design chain. QoS measures a design's physical characteristics, in terms of area, performance and power—using wires.

Encounter RTL Compiler Ultra synthesis is used throughout the design chain by Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) and Intellectual Property (IP) vendors and Integrated Circuit (IC) designers to help increase overall chip speed performance by 10 percent and improve area by 10 percent. In addition, runtime can be up to three times faster compared to traditional tools.

"Cadence understands the significance of VHDL as a widely-used language. Having access to Encounter RTL Compiler synthesis with VHDL allows our engineers to utilize world-class technology to increase our quality of silicon while improving our design time," said Dave Chiappini, ASIC Project Director for Matrox, a leading supplier of leading-edge graphics chips. "Graphics chips are typically large and complex. In our current evaluation of Encounter RTL Compiler, we were able to achieve up to 30 percent area savings on some designs, within four days of installing the tool."

The new generation technology behind Encounter RTL Compiler Ultra synthesis delivers global synthesis for timing closure using a unique patented set of global focus algorithms that maximize the performance of challenging designs. Encounter RTL Compiler synthesis fits into existing flows and can adapt to old and new approaches to design.

In addition to the performance benefits, the Encounter RTL Compiler product is drop-in compatible with existing solutions, making it easy to evaluate and deploy into production flows for ASIC vendors, IP suppliers and end users (see ARM/Cadence methodology release dated Feb. 17, 2004). "In response to demand from IBM ASIC customers, the Encounter RTL Compiler synthesis tool has been qualified in the IBM ASIC tool flow and is now ready for customer engagement," said Tom Reeves, vice president, ASIC product group, IBM Technology Group.

From an end-user perspective, the Encounter RTL Compiler tool's interoperability with existing flows allows an end-user to evaluate the tool through test designs that consider a variety of library, tool and process technology options. "Our customers have been able to evaluate Encounter RTL Compiler synthesis with Artisan libraries and have seen excellent performance and area results," said Dhrumil Gandhi, senior vice president of product technology at Artisan Components.

Encounter RTL Compiler synthesis generates large-scale transformations to the design by changing the global logic structure. The patented set of global focus algorithms identify key leverage regions in the design and work on multiple paths simultaneously. The result is a better netlist for the back-end, in less time.

Quality of Silicon
In nanometer design, every aspect of a chip becomes dominated by interconnect related parameters, design rules and failure mechanisms. In order to truly understand the physical properties of a design at 130 nm and below, a new, meaningful metric for speed, area, power and test must be applied. Quality of Silicon is the new generation metric that exclusively handles measurements after wires.

Encounter RTL Compiler synthesis uses a unique, patented set of global focus synthesis technologies that offer chip designers the highest QoS in less time, and with less effort, while still being backward compatible with old generation synthesis tools that are based upon quality of results measurements. Armed with this algorithmic advantage, Encounter RTL Compiler synthesis users enjoy a quantum advantage over users of old generation, before-wires, quality-of-results oriented measurement tools.

The Cadence Encounter RTL Compiler with support for VHDL and mixed-languages is available immediately on Sun and Linux platforms.

About Cadence
Cadence is the largest supplier of electronic design technologies, methodology services, and design services. Cadence solutions are used to accelerate and manage the design of semiconductors, computer systems, networking and telecommunications equipment, consumer electronics, and a variety of other electronics-based products. With approximately 4,800 employees and 2003 revenues of approximately $1.1 billion, Cadence has sales offices, design centers, and research facilities around the world. The company is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CDN. More information about the company, its products and services is available at

Cadence and the Cadence logo are registered trademarks, and Encounter is a trademark of Cadence Design Systems, Inc.

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