Sycon Tapes Out .18-micron, 180-MHz Design with Magma Blast Tools

2/27/2004 - Magma Design Automation Inc. (Nasdaq: LAVA), a provider of chip design solutions, announced that Sycon Design has taped out a 0.18-micron, 180-MHz design using Blast Fusion ® , Blast RailTM and Blast Noise ®. Sycon was challenged by its customer to improve the performance and yield targets of a chip already in production. With Magma's integrated approach to hierarchical and physical design and signal and power integrity, Sycon successfully met its low-power target, doubled the performance and reduced area by 36 percent utilizing the existing netlist.

Sycon redesigned the chip using Magma tools integrated with Sycon's TempestTM technology and methodology. Magma's Blast Rail and Blast Noise were used to minimize power and identify and fix noise signal integrity violations. Magma uniquely integrates power and signal integrity into the Blast Fusion physical design flow, allowing the system to address these issues throughout the RTL-to-GDSII design process. As a result, the final netlist-to-GDSII flow took Sycon's design team just three days.

“We were very pleased with the results, and so was our customer,” said Ron Gutfreund, vice president of IP and systems at Sycon. “The frequency of the original design was 90 MHz, but our target was 120 MHz. We not only met it but exceeded it and were able to achieve 180 MHz. And though it was not an initial goal, we also increased the die per wafer by 36 percent, thanks to Magma tools and our senior-level engineering team. In addition, we met our power target of 2 watts and achieved power sign-off using Blast Rail.”

“What's really exciting about this design is the fact that Sycon was able to achieve impressive speed, power and area improvements using the existing netlist,” said Sameer Patel, product marketing director at Magma. “Increase in manufacturability yielded a 36 percent increase in good dies per wafer. I believe this design clearly illustrates the Magma system's ability to deliver better silicon while reducing development costs.”

Open Data Model Architecture Allows Design Flow Flexibility
“In addition to the performance and turnaround time advantages it offers, one of the key reasons we decided to adopt Magma's integrated tool flow was its open data model architecture,” said Jack Feldman, vice president of IC design at Sycon, which provides both design services and technology. “The Magma system is completely open and accepts industry-standard data formats. This powerful capability will allow us to easily integrate custom scripts and our own Tempest technology along with our advanced design methodology into the Magma flow to improve quality of results in our customers' designs.”

Magma's integrated RTL-to-GDSII system is based on a unified data model and single database. The various functional elements of the system – such as the synthesis, place-and-route and analysis engines – all use the same data structure. The database contains all logical, timing, physical and electrical information about the design and is resident in core memory during execution. This unique system architecture provides all functional elements with direct access to the database and allows them to operate concurrently and to evaluate the overall effect of each design decision. As a result, the system can fully optimize the design for timing, area, signal integrity, and power and manufacturability, maximizing quality of results and reducing turnaround time.

The Magma data model supports all industry-standard formats and is fully accessible through Tcl. This provides designers with a seamless flow that can include third-party tools if necessary and allows designers to use custom Tcl scripts.

About Sycon Design
Sycon Design provides a proven technology and optimization services that achieve next-generation performance with today's manufacturing processes to deliver highly optimized, complex integrated circuits. Supported by comprehensive physical design services (RTL-GDSII) and automated IC implementation techniques, Sycon Design can maximize performance, optimize power consumption, and produce the smallest chip area. Sycon Design is located at 385 Reed Street , Santa Clara , CA 95050. Web site:

About Magma
Magma provides leading software for designing highly complex integrated circuits while maximizing Quality of Results with respect to area, timing and power, and at the same time reducing overall design cycles and costs. Magma provides a complete RTL-to-GDSII design flow that includes prototyping, synthesis, place & route, and signal and power integrity chip design capabilities in a single executable, offering “The Fastest Path from RTL to Silicon”TM. Magma's software also includes products for advanced physical synthesis and architecture development tools for programmable logic devices (PLDs); capacitance extraction; and characterization and modeling. The company's stock trades on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol LAVA. Visit Magma Design Automation on the Web at

Magma, Blast Fusion, and Blast Noise are registered trademarks and Blast Rail is a trademark of Magma Design Automation Inc.

Previous Page | News by Category | News Search

If you found this page useful, bookmark and share it on: