Sequence and Golden Gate Offer Power Integrity Flow for Nanometer SoCs

5/14/2004 - Sequence Design announced it has entered into a partnership with the power driven physical design EDA vendor, Golden Gate Technology, to add power grid design to the company’s NanoCool power integrity flow.

As part of the agreement, GoPower from Golden Gate, a suite of physical design tools including an advanced power and ground (P/G) grid design technology, will be integrated into Sequence’s front end PowerTheater RTL analysis tool and on the back end into CoolTime and PhysicalStudio for the analysis and optimization of electrical effects of nanometer system-on-a-chip (SoC) designs at and below 130 nm. Sequence and Golden Gate will also exchange tools to support common customers under the In-Sequence Partnership program.

Both companies have responded to requests from customers to integrate their technologies. “Despite the claims we hear in the industry press, no single vendor can offer a designer a complete flow,” said Dr. Michael Burstein, CEO of Golden Gate Technologies. “ Golden Gate ’s power grid design complements Sequence’s front to back analysis and optimization capabilities. Our tools will work together at a stage in the flow that has a significant impact on design closure. The integration will reduce the number of iterations by automatically customizing the correct P/G grid distribution for each and every chip layout, regardless of its complexity.”

The IC implementation flow is increasingly power-driven. “The addition of Golden Gate’s technology provides significant additions to our NanoCool Power Integrity flow for design implementation,” said Vic Kulkarni, president and CEO of Sequence Design. “The benefits for designers include extended battery life, reduced packaging costs, as well as, improved silicon predictability and design-for-manufacturability.”

NanoCool Power Grid Design
The NanoCool Power Integrity flow begins at RTL. PowerTheater can be used to estimate full-chip power at RTL or post-synthesis. Power analysis can be based on an initial floorplan, but must be done after floorplanning and before placement in order for the placement to be of value. Power estimates from PowerTheater are used to decide the size, spacing and connectivity of power buses. Sequence CoolTime technology is used to get voltage-drop and electro-migration estimates. Users can also perform what-if analysis on the size of power straps, vias and power pins using this technology to achieve a robust power distribution network. Once the power grid is designed and the design goes to complete placement and routing. CoolTime can then be used to analyze instantaneous currents and resulting voltages, as well as, the impact of dynamic voltage drop and crosstalk on timing and glitch.

Tools, such as routers and floor planners currently used to produce the power grid are inefficient. Many are signal routers repurposed to perform power and ground routing. Since they do not have integral power and ground synthesis they lack the ability to incorporate early predictions of power consumption, voltage-drop and electro-migration. The use of these tools for power grid design often involves rules-of-thumb choices that result in potential over-design and subsequent routing congestion. Conversely, an under-designed grid can lead to significant voltage drop and design closure challenges.

Golden Gate’s GoPower comes with a power-ground router that can route power for an entire design in a custom and non-uniform manner. Based on accurate power, EM, and voltage-drop estimates from CoolTime, the designer can move the blocks, reroute power and ground, then perform the analysis again. No commercially available floor planners have this capability.

With GoPower, the designer can reduce over-design of the P/G grid, while eliminating power distribution problems. The GoPower technology will enhance the physical power analysis and optimization capabilities in CoolTime and PhysicalStudio. These capabilities include multi-threshold, leakage power reduction and voltage-drop analysis.

Availability
Initial capability will be demonstrated at the DAC Conference on June 7-11, 2004 in San Diego in Sequence booth #2107 and in the Golden Gate booth #3424. Visit sequencedesign.com to register. Production for power grid design is slated for Q4 CY 04.

About In-Sequence Program
The program is designed to foster close working relationships between four broad industry groups:

In addition to Golden Gate, In-Sequence partners include Artisan, Novas Software and Xpedion Design Systems. For complete details on the program, interested parties may contact Sequence at insequence@sequencedesign.com.

About Sequence
Sequence Design, Inc. enables system-on-chip designers to bring higher-performance and lower-power integrated circuits quickly to fabrication. Sequence’s power and signal integrity software give its more than 125 customers the competitive advantage they need to excel in aggressive technology markets, despite demanding complexity and time-to-market issues of nanometer design.

Sequence has worldwide development and field service operations. The company was recently named by Reed Electronics as one of the top 50 companies to watch in the electronics industry. Sequence is privately held. Sequence is a member of Cadence Design Systems' Connections(TM) and Mentor Graphics' Open Door(TM) partnership programs. Additional information is available at sequencedesign.com.

About Golden Gate Technology
Golden Gate Technology Inc. was founded in 2001 with the goal of building power driven physical design tools targeting very deep submicron system-on-chip circuits. GGT has a proven management team with years of experience in the EDA industry. The company has an R&D team of more than 40 engineers. GGT’s major product offering, GoPower, has received customer acceptance and is currently in production design flows. The company aims to be a major supplier of physical design tools in the EDA industry.

Sequence has worldwide development and field service operations. The company was recently named by Reed Electronics as one of the top 50 companies to watch in the electronics industry. Sequence is privately held. Sequence is a member of Cadence Design Systems' Connections(TM) and Mentor Graphics' Open Door(TM) partnership programs. Additional information is available at sequencedesign.com.

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