19-06-2019 | | By Nnamdi Anyadike
The surge in electronic design automation (EDA) that has been such a feature of high tech manufacturing over the past few years is expected to gain even greater momentum in the coming decade. EDA is now an integral component of semiconductor design, providing the silicon industry with the ability to innovate and at the same time reduce design costs. The main industry drivers of EDA are the automotive, IoT, and AI sectors. But it is the automotive sector with the expected growth in demand for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving vehicles that is creating the most excitement for the major EDA vendors. Key players in the industry include Mentor Graphics, Synopsis, Cadence and IBM.
Synopsys, Inc., the Nasdaq listed silicon to software partner, recently announced its investment in AI design solutions. The AI implementation is aimed at expanding the Synopsys Design Platform, accelerating time-to-results (TTR), achieving new levels of push-button automation, and setting new standards for quality-of-results (QoR) in digital and custom design. Its Synopsys Cloud solution now supports the Google Cloud Platform for TSMC Open Innovation Platform® Virtual Design Environment (OIP VDE). The combination of these cloud technologies enables system-on-chip (SoC) designs using Synopsys' EDA tools, IP, and TSMC design. Naidu Annamaneni, chief information officer and vice president of global IT at eSilicon said, "We've been collaborating with Google Cloud for more than a year to optimise our Synopsys-based implementation flow. We now run design tasks routinely in the cloud, taking advantage of the latest hardware technology, enhanced security, optimised networks, and high availability. This is the future of ASIC design."
This year, Cadence Design Systems, Inc. the American multinational EDA software and engineering services company launched its Cadence® Xcelium™ parallel logic simulation. The product is described as the EDA industry’s first production-ready third-generation simulator. It is based on innovative multi-core parallel computing technology, enabling systems-on-chip (SoCs) to get to market faster than current solutions. “On average, customers can achieve 2X improved single-core performance and more than 5X improved multi-core performance versus previous generation simulators,” said the company.
In May, Advantest Corporation a leading supplier of semiconductor test equipment announced the addition of SmartShell to the functionality of its ‘V93000 SmarTest’ software. SmartShell is a new software solution that enables direct communication between a V93000 scalable tester and EDA environments, such as Tessent ™ Silicon Insight ™ software that is available from Mentor, a Siemens company. EDA tools and the test system can now remotely connect to an online network, send test patterns for execution, modify them, and directly retrieve results and error information instead of performing multiple format conversions. Ralf Stoffels, vice president of marketing for Advantest's V93000 explained, "With the short and direct path from DfT [Design for Test] to ATE [automatic test equipment], we help our customers overcome the ever-increasing complexity of ICs in less time."
The partnership launched last year between Mentor’s Tanner EDA group and VPIphotonics, a pioneer of photonics simulation to deliver dynamic and cost-effective design and analysis solutions for companies that develop devices for the emerging silicon photonics market, is now bearing fruit. VPIphotonics has 20-plus years of photonic simulation, for active/passive/hybrid integrated circuits and systems. “The VPIphotonics simulation environment, in conjunction with Mentor's Tanner EDA IC layout environment, provides customers with a complete photonic circuit modelling capability that allows them to benchmark circuit performance in simulated system applications. Before this collaboration, silicon photonic design teams would need to run and manage multiple platforms to accomplish a complete circuit design and performance assessment,” the Tanner Web site explains. Mentor is highlighting VPI’s foundry partnerships as well as its two products developed specifically for the photonics community: L-Edit Photonics, and LightSuite Photonic Compiler. L-Edit Photonics enables complete photonic circuit design and netlist extraction for simulation and is available through Mentor’s Tanner Tool suite. It provides the full EDA/EPDA Open Access based flow for integrated circuit design including a standard interface to Calibre platform for physical verification.
This summer, Keysight Technologies, Inc., the US based provider of electronic design and test solutions showcased its PathWave Design 2020 with robust EDA software capabilities. The new release will enable software developers to design workflow for advanced 5G, Radio Frequency (RF) technology and microwaves. Todd Cutler, vice president and general manager of design and test software at Keysight explained, "Keysight's PathWave Design 2020 provides engineers with new tools and software enhancements that shorten the design cycle and eliminate project delays by adding new efficiencies to their RF and microwave, 5G, and automotive workflows."
ResearchAndMarkets.com sees the global electronic design automation tools market growing at an impressive CAGR of 10.1%, from $9.76 billion in 2018 to $17.35 billion by 2024. The increasing demand for advanced electronic devices with complex designs and the need to reduce the size - while at the same time improving their performance - will compel IC manufacturers to increase their R&D investments and adopt EDA tools.