CoWare Combines Technologies into Platform-driven ESL Design Environment

3/6/2006 - CoWare® Inc., the leading supplier of electronic system-level (ESL) design software and services, has aligned the strategic technologies it has developed and acquired into a new set of solutions for platform-driven ESL design. Platform-driven design is the major design trend in the electronics industry as system-on-chip (SoC) developers shift focus from individual products to product platforms that define a basic architecture used to derive multiple products over a period of time. With its native backbone of SystemC technology, CoWare has aligned its three product families into one product line that enables three key solutions for collaborative platform-driven ESL design: SoC platform capture and architecture exploration, custom processor design, and algorithm design.

"Since its inception, CoWare has been leading the way to ESL design. A sequence of strategic technology acquisitions, the pioneering work in the definition of the industry-standard SystemC modeling language, and the integration of all these technologies has produced the industry's most comprehensive solution for platform-driven ESL design," said Alan Naumann, CoWare CEO. "CoWare customers are embracing the platform-driven ESL design approach because of the economic and business value it delivers and the impressive results they achieve."

"Our Elemental Computing product consists of a unique set of processing elements, and a sophisticated interconnect capable of executing complex signal processing and general purpose applications," stated Jaime Cummins, CEO, ElementCXI. "CoWare is leading the way with the critical set of ESL technologies and the vision to integrate them in a meaningful way for our product platform development. We look forward to rapidly deploying this solution to embedded application developers in the multimedia and automotive markets that we will serve with our first silicon."

The Need for Product Platforms
Multimedia convergence, especially in the consumer electronics markets, drives the need for increasingly complex product architectures. The ability to record and play back multiple video streams, high-quality audio, high-speed wireless communications, and a multitude of other applications drives the need for complex SoC designs with multiple busses, multiple processors, and a variety of complex peripherals. At the same time the software content of such devices has been growing exponentially.

Semiconductor companies are being forced to change their product development strategies to successfully address the increasing market demands. Their focus has shifted from individual products to product platforms. A product platform defines a basic architecture that is used to derive multiple products over a period of time. A cell phone product platform, for example, may be under development for two to three years, and, once completed, it can be used to derive as many as 50 different products (cell phones) per year for yet another three or more years.

Platform-Driven ESL Design
The design of product platforms poses a new set of requirements on the design tools and methodologies being used. The traditional electronic design automation (EDA) design flow, from RTL to GDSII, is no longer sufficient to capture the platform architecture, explore and evaluate alternatives, and eventually help optimize it. The platform architecture must be captured at a higher level of abstraction -- processors, buses, and peripherals need to be modeled in a manner that allows the execution of real software applications on the platform model so the architecture can be properly evaluated and explored. And, because platform-driven ESL design does this so well, this methodology is being adopted by many systems and semiconductor companies today.

CoWare Product Offerings for Platform-Driven ESL Design
CoWare technologies have been offering solutions to a number of design challenges, such as creating custom processors and processor models with LISATekÔ; defining and evaluating digital signal processing algorithms with SPW; and modeling complex logic functions such as bus architectures and peripheral IP blocks using ConvergenSC®. The combination of these technologies enables a new level of design aimed at the capture, evaluation, and optimization of the entire product platform.

"Instead of choosing individual tools and technologies, our customers have been increasingly viewing CoWare as their primary ESL design solution vendor," said AK Kalekos, vice-president marketing and business development, CoWare. "In recognition of the trend to make a 'CoWare decision' for ESL design solutions, we have initiated a renaming of our individual product lines to reflect their use in a consistent and collaborative 'Platform-Driven ESL Design' environment."

CoWare's platform-driven ESL design solutions are available today. For pricing information, contact the local CoWare sales representative.

About CoWare
CoWare is the leading supplier of electronic system-level (ESL) design software and services. CoWare offers a comprehensive set of platform-driven ESL products that enable SoC developers to "differentiate by design" through the creation of system IP including embedded processors, on-chip buses, and DSP algorithms; the architecture of optimized SoC platforms; and hardware/software co-design. The company's solutions are based on open industry standards including SystemC. CoWare's customers are major systems, semiconductor, and IP companies in the market where consumer electronics, computing, and communications converge. CoWare's corporate investors include ARM Ltd. [(LSE: ARM); (Nasdaq: ARMHY)], Cadence Design Systems (Nasdaq: CDNS), STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), and Sony Corporation (NYSE: SNE). CoWare is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., and has offices around the world. For more information about CoWare and its products and services visit .

ConvergenSC and CoWare are registered trademarks, and LISATek is a trademark of CoWare, Inc.

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