Tekton first Static Timing Analysis Solution is now out

Magma(R) Design Automation Inc. (Nasdaq:LAVA), a provider of chip design software, today unveiled Tekton(TM), a new timing analysis platform that offers significantly higher capacity and dramatically faster runtimes than traditional tools, without sacrificing accuracy. Unlike other solutions, Tekton runs multi-scenario analysis efficiently on low-cost hardware without requiring a large number of expensive servers and software licenses. Leveraging breakthrough technology, this revolutionary new platform addresses complex sign-off challenges and is uniquely suited for today’s most challenging designs.

"The complexity of timing sign-off has reached crisis proportions, forcing design teams to re-evaluate resource planning, design architectures and final sign-off solutions," said Premal Buch, general manager of Magma’s Design Implementation Business Unit. "Capacity and runtime limitations of current STA tools often force teams to sacrifice accuracy to meet tight design schedules, or they must invest in expensive servers and additional software licenses in an attempt to achieve reasonable turnaround times. By enabling STA in just minutes for the industry’s biggest chips — on a single machine — Tekton is truly the next-generation timing analysis platform."

Tekton: Fast, Accurate, High-Capacity Static Timing Analysis

Designed to more efficiently handle on-chip-variation (OCV), composite current source (CCS) models and crosstalk analysis, Tekton overcomes the speed, capacity and accuracy limitations of traditional static timing analysis (STA) tools. It brings a new level of performance to static timing analysis and extraction while maintaining complete flow compatibility with existing STA tools.

Tekton meets the runtime, capacity and accuracy requirements for sign-off through an architecture designed to accommodate more than 100 million instances and greater than 15 PVT corners. Traditional STA solutions often take hours or days and numerous machines to deliver results on complicated designs that have many analysis scenarios. Tekton’s multi-threaded architecture provides near-linear scaling on up to 24 CPUs. For a single timing scenario, with OCV and crosstalk enabled, Tekton performs timing analysis on designs greater than 10 million cells in minutes.

QCP: New Full-Chip Extractor

The Tekton platform includes QCP(TM), a fast, high-capacity, full-chip extractor that delivers results with the accuracy of the industry
standard, QuickCap(R). QCP’s architecture enables efficient multi-corner extraction with minimal increases in runtime as additional
process, voltage and temperature (PVT) corners are added for each process node migration. Built on a similar architecture to Tekton, QCP is fully multi-threaded for near linear performance on up to 32 CPUs. Tekton and QCP can be used together in a single STA timing session for very fast and accurate "what-if" analysis for engineering change orders (ECOs).

Tekton and QCP: Tight Integration Means Fewer and Faster ECO Loops

Today’s complex chip designs require accurate timing analysis to be performed across many scenarios (operating modes and PVT corners). Coupling Tekton’s timing analysis with QCP’s extraction in a single session allows designers to simultaneously iterate through the timing closure process of analyzing, fixing and extracting nets. The ability to make changes and get accurate timing results can drastically reduce the amount of time spent in trial-and-error ECO loops.

Tekton Multi-Mode/Multi-Corner Analysis Speeds Turnaround Times and Reduces Costs

Performing multi-mode/multi-corner or multi-scenario analysis using traditional tools is time consuming, expensive and cumbersome. Design teams are often forced to purchase many expensive servers and accompanying software licenses to parallelize the multi-scenario analysis in order to shorten run times. In some cases, design teams resort to using abstracted timing models to accelerate the analysis, but at the expense of accuracy. Tekton performs extremely fast, multi-scenario analysis on a single machine and provides the accuracy of existing sign-off solutions. Over a variety of designs with 5 to 50 scenarios enabled, Tekton performs timing analysis, with OCV and crosstalk enabled, in less than one hour on a single CPU.
"To ensure we provide the highest quality of silicon, we analyze our chips across many operating modes and PVT corners," said Jay Avula, vice president of Technology at ServerEngines. "The amount of STA we require puts our tapeout schedule at risk, and it will be only getting worse. Tekton runtimes are truly exceptional. We believe Tekton will meet our growing STA challenges without increasing our compute resources."

"Today, companies are budgeting millions of dollars for hardware to address the rapidly increasing number of STA scenarios," said Premal Buch, general manager of Magma’s Design Implementation Business Unit. "Tekton is the only STA solution that meets the multi-scenario analysis problems of today and five years from now — on a single machine without any investment in new hardware."

Tekton Platform: Increasing Accuracy, Reducing the Timing Closure Burden

To address the timing closure challenges design teams face at 40 nm and below, Tekton supports advanced OCV (AOCV) margin  reduction techniques. By incorporating AOCV into timing closure flows, design teams can minimize global pessimistic margins that lengthen tapeout schedules and potentially increase die sizes. For critical path and net analysis, Tekton and QCP offer high accuracy modes that leverage Tekton’s integrated SPICE engine and QCP’s accurate extraction.


Tekton and QCP are in limited release. General availability will begin in June 2010.


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