Sun Verifies UltraSPARC T1 Processor with Cadence Incisive Xtreme Server

3/21/2006 - Cadence Design Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CDNS) today announced that Sun Microsystems, has successfully deployed the Cadence® Incisive® Xtreme® Server to verify its latest UltraSPARC T1 processor with CoolThreadsTM technology. The company chose the Xtreme Server, a hardware-assisted verification system, over competitive offerings because of its unique ability to seamlessly integrate simulation, acceleration and in-circuit emulation across the enterprise into a single highly manageable environment. Sun also welcomed the ease-of-use factor, and the overall flexibility of the solution.

The UltraSPARC T1 processor, a component of FireTM T2000TM systems now shipping, represents one of the highest throughput and most eco-responsible processors ever created. Drawing about as much power as a standard light bulb, UltraSPARC T1 features unique multi-core, multi-threaded design and provides one of the highest performances per watt of any processor for the Web server market. However, speeding the processor through the necessary verification cycles was no small feat – which is where the Xtreme Server became so important.

"Essentially it’s like 32 CPUs running simultaneously," said Jai Kumar, design verification architect, and a simulation/emulation specialist at Sun. "The complexity of verification goes up dramatically. Even with a cluster of Sun workstations, we could not have done the project in a timely manner running simulators alone."

Sun reported that the design team found Xtreme’s VCD-on-Demand feature to be a great time-saver by facilitating fast debugging which eliminated the need to re-simulate and potentially hold up the project for days. Another capability Sun found helpful was the suspend/resume feature, which suspended long simulation jobs on hardware to make way for short high-priority simulation or debug jobs. A closely coupled software simulator along with the ability to hot swap simulation from software to hardware and vice-versa, also greatly reduced time to bring-up new designs on the Xtreme platform.

Kumar said the system-level emulation approach in the Incisive Xtreme flow enabled Sun to identify and fix bugs progressively throughout the different project phases. Sun needed the increased flexibility and productivity, he said, because it was up against a very aggressive schedule and had to avoid silicon re-spins. Xtreme enabled Sun to create an accelerated verification environment for detecting and correcting system-level integration issues while increasing system-level confidence by introducing HW/SW co-verification months ahead of silicon bring-ups.

"We are excited to be working with Sun on this cutting-edge processor development, and we will continue to work closely with Sun to meet their enterprise needs," said Moshe Gavrielov, executive vice president and general manager of the Cadence Verification Division.

Sun today also announced the next phase of its OpenSPARC initiative by releasing hardware design specifications, EDA tools and a Solaris port for the breakthrough UltraSPARC T1 processor.

About Cadence
Cadence enables global electronic-design innovation and plays an essential role in the creation of today's integrated circuits and electronics. Customers use Cadence software and hardware, methodologies, and services to design and verify advanced semiconductors, printed circuit boards and systems used in consumer electronics, networking and telecommunications equipment, and computer systems. Cadence reported 2005 revenues of approximately $1.3 billion, and has approximately 5,000 employees. The company is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., with sales offices, design centres, and research facilities around the world to serve the global electronics industry.

Cadence, the Cadence logo, Incisive and Xtreme are registered trademarks of Cadence Design Systems in the United States and other countries.

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