Magma's SiliconSmart Characterization and Modeling Sets Standard for NVIDIA

2/25/2004 - The Silicon Correlation Division of Magma Design Automation Inc. (Nasdaq: LAVA) announced that NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA), has standardized on SiliconSmartTM characterization and modeling technology. The SiliconSmart technology will be applied to all internally developed and commercially supplied nanometer libraries. The standardization is part of NVIDIA's ongoing program to optimize its overall design flow.

NVIDIA is a fabless semiconductor company whose products are used in a wide variety of desktop computer applications, internet-enabled appliances, wireless communication devices, and high-definition digital video and television. Regardless of the use environment, responding to consumers' demands for a graphically convincing simulation of reality requires the development of high-speed, power-conscious products.

To continually deliver such leading-edge products, NVIDIA augments its commercial libraries with custom, application-specific standard cell libraries. Extremely complex in nature, these custom devices are used throughout the design to optimize system performance or minimize power consumption.

NVIDIA's sign-off flow includes design and analysis tools from Synopsys® that are now augmented with the SiliconSmart CR characterization flow for nanometer design. Using nanometer process technologies, design teams recognized that the ability to precisely account for increased leakage currents and greater delays due to capacitive cross-coupling is directly correlated to the quality of the models. NVIDIA needed an automated system that quickly and consistently delivered accurate timing and power models.

"SiliconSmart CR is Silicon Correlation Division's standard cell solution for addressing cell characterization and will play a key role to our success," said Joe Greco, vice president of VLSI Design Engineering at NVIDIA. "With break-through levels in ease-of-use, performance, accuracy, quality and extensibility for characterization of nanometer libraries for timing, SiliconSmart CR provides us with the timing and power models needed in our nanometer design flow."

To generate models reflecting the true electrical behavior of silicon, NVIDIA evaluated and selected the SiliconSmart characterization and modeling technology from the Silicon Correlation Division of Magma. The evaluation determined that SiliconSmart CR's sophisticated delay acquisition and support for state-dependent timing and power accurately accounted for the non-linear delays and the switching, internal, and leakage power present in nanometer processes.

“Regardless of the design flow used, customers transitioning to nanometer processes have seen the benefits of high quality timing and power models,” said Vess Johnson, general manager of the Silicon Correlation Division. “During synthesis, timing or power analysis, as well as place-and-route, accurate models deliver better designs with fewer iterations. Successful design teams, like those at NVIDA, have discovered that SiliconSmart characterization technology is a crucial part of their design flow.”

About SiliconSmart CR
SiliconSmart technology is the Silicon Correlation Division's standard cell solution for addressing the cell characterization needs of library development and design teams. Supporting multiple design flows, the technology provides the ease of use, performance, accuracy, quality and extensibility to dramatically simplify the process of characterizing nanometer libraries for timing, power and signal integrity. With features such as interdependent constraints, delay degradation, over sampling, accurate switching, and hidden and leakage power measurement acquisition, SiliconSmart technology produces the sophisticated models that allow a gate-level design flow to produce SPICE-accurate results. The use of these accurate, high-quality models during synthesis, static timing and power analysis, as well as during place and -route, results in fewer design iterations.

About the Silicon Correlation Division
The Silicon Correlation Division is an independent business unit and division of Magma Design Automation. Maintaining a position of neutrality in the marketplace, the division's mission and business model are based on providing characterization and modeling solutions that support a variety of industry-standard design flows. Toward that objective, the Silicon Correlation Division has developed partnerships and close working relationships with many EDA vendors and customers in the development and support of popular design flows. To tailor support for all partners, the Silicon Correlation Division maintains an independent sales, support, engineering and marketing force operating from headquarters in Austin , Texas . Visit the Silicon Correlation Division on the web at

SiliconSmart is a trademark of Magma Design Automation. NVIDIA is a registered trademark of NVIDIA Corporation in the United States and other countries.

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