STARC adopts Synopsys PrimeTime VX as the variation-aware timing tool for its starcad-cel methodology

Synopsys and STARC Collaborate on a Practical, Trusted Approach to Address Process Variation at 65 Nanometers and Below

Mountain View CA, (PresseBox) - Synopsys, Inc. (Nasdaq:SNPS), a world leader in software and IP for semiconductor design and manufacturing, today announced that the Semiconductor Technology Academic Research Center (STARC) has incorporated Synopsys' PrimeTime(r) VX variation-aware, statistical timing signoff solution as part of its 65-nanometer (nm), Synopsys-based STARCAD-CEL methodology. Because the PrimeTime VX solution is built on Synopsys' PrimeTime static timing analysis (STA) tool-the industry's gold standard-STARC was able to validate multiple evolutionary approaches to introducing statistical STA (SSTA) into existing design flows. As a result, mutual STARC and Synopsys customers can now improve their design margins by selecting the PrimeTime-based SSTA signoff method most appropriate for their return-on-investment parameters.

"STARC member companies have a wide range of accuracy, flow and ease-of-adoption requirements when it comes to variation-aware design analysis and signoff," said Nobuyuki Nishiguchi, vice president of the Development Department-1 at STARC. "After an extensive evaluation we selected Synopsys' PrimeTime VX solution for its flexibility, comprehensiveness and evolutionary approach to addressing process variation at geometries of 65 nanometers and below."

Traditional STA enables design analysis at a particular process, voltage and temperature (PVT) corner. To protect against die-to-die and intra-die process variation, design engineers analyze their circuits at a number of extreme PVT corners and add on-chip-variation (OCV) guard-band margins respectively. SSTA is a new technology that has the potential to minimize guard-band margins and corner analyses by employing statistical methods. Unlike other SSTA solutions, PrimeTime VX allows users to leverage their existing investment in the trusted PrimeTime STA tool infrastructure, flow and knowledge.

The rich feature set in the PrimeTime and PrimeTime VX solutions enabled STARC to assess three practical techniques for introducing SSTA into existing production design flows using multiple 65-nm-based integrated circuit (IC) designs. The first approach used the PrimeTime tool's location-based margining capability to improve OCV analysis with PVT corners. The second approach used a combination of corner-based STA and SSTA. The third method relied completely on SSTA to analyze all process variations.

By using the PrimeTime VX solution, STARC was able to prove that all three approaches delivered a unique cost-benefit trade-off to the user-trading off additional library characterization and new flow infrastructure cost for additional accuracy. This flexibility allows companies, regardless of their design style, foundry process and cost requirements, to utilize an optimal SSTA approach to improve design quality and reduce turnaround time. STARC will present its findings in a paper at the Synopsys Booth during the 2008 Electronic Design and Solution Fair on January 24-25, 2008 at the Pacifico Yokohama convention center in Kanagawa, Japan.

"There is a clear need for a practical approach to address process variation at 65 nanometers and below," said Bijan Kiani, vice president of Product Marketing at Synopsys. "As our work with STARC has shown, PrimeTime VX is the only tool that is built on a trusted STA foundation and delivers the key benefits of variation-aware signoff in a flexible, easy to adopt package."

STARC is a research consortium of major Japanese semiconductor companies whose mission is the development of leading-edge system-on-chip (SoC) design methodologies. For more information about STARC, please visit

Synopsys, Inc.

Synopsys, Inc. (Nasdaq:SNPS) ist ein weltweit führender Anbieter von Electronic-Design-Automation-(EDA)-Software für Entwürfe im Halbleiterbereich. Die Firma liefert technologie-führende Halbleiter-Entwurfs- und Verifikationsplattformen sowie IC-Fertigungssoftware für den globalen Elektronikmarkt und ermöglicht somit die Entwicklung und Produktion komplexer integrierter Schaltungen und elektronischer Systeme. Mit seinen umfassenden Lösungen adressiert Synopsys die wesentlichen Herausforderungen, mit denen sich Entwickler und Hersteller heute konfrontiert sehen, darunter Power-Management, verkürzte Time-To-Yield sowie System-To-Silicon-Verifikation. Synopsys hat seinen Hauptsitz in Mountain View, Kalifornien, und unterhält mehr als 60 Büros in Nordamerika, Europa, Japan und Asien. Besuchen Sie Synopsys online unter

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