Mercury Computer, Mentor to Create First Cell BE Processor Platform

Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY) announced it has signed a strategic agreement with Mentor Graphics to jointly develop and deliver a fully integrated electronic design automation (EDA) platform. The platform is based on the Cell Broadband Engine(TM) (BE) processor developed originally by IBM, Sony, and Toshiba for the Sony Playstation(R) 3 video game console and other consumer electronics devices.

“Our partnership with Mercury combines two companies’ strengths that bring unprecedented software and hardware innovation to the EDA industry,” said Walden Rhines, CEO, Mentor Graphics, Inc. “Increasing complexity across the entire IC design flow puts tremendous pressure on hardware platforms. Mercury’s Cell BE compute cluster holds great promise to relieve this pressure while protecting the existing investment in hardware.”

Mercury has worked closely with Mentor, a worldwide leader in EDA solutions, to migrate its Calibre OPC product to Mercury’s Cell BE processor-based high-performance compute cluster. Leveraging Mercury’s 23 years of experience in optimizing application performance, and the Mercury MultiCore Plus(TM) SDK (Software Development Kit), the companies have achieved more than an order of magnitude performance improvement for the new-generation platform.

“Working with innovative market leaders like Mentor Graphics is an important part of Mercury’s strategy to expand our market presence,” said Jay Bertelli, President and CEO of Mercury Computer Systems. “Mercury’s demonstrated leadership in architecting ultimate performance computing solutions that are optimized for specialized applications, together with Mentor’s EDA market leadership, is an ideal combination to drive value for our mutual customers.”

Hardware acceleration techniques are increasingly implemented in specialized applications that require more processing power than mainstream solutions can offer. The novel platform combines a standard compute cluster with the Cell BE processor to cost-effectively deliver up to a 20x increase in compute capacity and speed now required for resolution enhancement tool (RET) applications at and below 45nm.

The amount of computation required to complete the 45nm and below RET flow has increased dramatically compared to that of the 65nm node. Larger devices, larger optical diameters, more model kernels, through-process simulation, and more compute-intensive process modeling have pushed computation requirements for the 45nm node from 5 to 20 times that of the 65nm node. Even if critical layer jobs can complete on standard farms, the turn-around time (TAT) is unacceptable, and the number of CPUs and licenses are too costly. In addition, companies moving to 45nm want to preserve their current hardware investment. It has become clear that software innovation is needed to address all of these issues in tandem with a new, innovative HPC platform.

Mentor turned to Mercury as a partner to research and develop the next- generation architecture. The partnership capitalizes on Mentor’s expertise in Computational Lithography and Mercury’s advanced HPC systems, to construct the optimal architecture for breakthrough EDA applications.

For more information on Mercury’s Cell BE processor-based solutions, contact Mercury at (866) 627-6951.

About Mentor Graphics
Mentor Graphics Corporation (Nasdaq: MENT) is a world leader in electronic hardware and software design solutions, providing products, consulting services and award-winning support for the world’s most successful electronics and semiconductor companies. Established in 1981, the company reported revenues over the last 12 months of about $750 million and employs approximately 4,100 people worldwide. Corporate headquarters are located at 8005 S.W. Boeckman Road, Wilsonville, Oregon 97070-7777.

Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. – Where Challenges Drive Innovation
Mercury Computer Systems is the leading provider of computing systems and software for data-intensive applications that include image processing, signal processing, and visualization. With a strong commitment to innovation, our expertise in algorithm optimization, systems development, and silicon design is blended with software application knowledge and industry-standard technologies to solve unique computing challenges. We work closely with our customers to architect solutions that have a meaningful impact on everyday life: detecting aneurysms; designing safer, more fuel-efficient aircraft; identifying security threats; discovering oil; developing new drugs; and visualizing virtually every aspect of scientific investigation.

Mercury’s comprehensive, purpose-built solutions capture, process, and present data for the world’s largest medical imaging companies, 8 of the 10 top defense prime contractors, and other leading Fortune 500 and mid-market companies in semiconductor, energy, telecommunications, and other industries. Our dedication to performance excellence and collaborative innovation continues a 23-year history in enabling customers to stay at the forefront of the markets they serve.

Mercury is based in Chelmsford, Massachusetts and serves customers worldwide through a broad network of direct sales offices, subsidiaries, and distributors. We are listed on the Nasdaq National Market (NASDAQ: MRCY).

Cell Broadband Engine is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI). Playstation is a registered trademark of SCEI or its affiliates. MultiCore Plus is a trademark of Mercury Computer Systems, Inc.