Magma Debuts Talus Power and Quartz Rail for Low-Power Design

Magma(R) Design Automation Inc. (Nasdaq:LAVA), a provider of semiconductor design software, announced Talus Power and Quartz Rail, two new low-power IC implementation and analysis products that have been shown to reduce power consumption in nanometer (nm) ICs by 25 percent. Used by today’s leading-edge cell phone baseband and application processor companies, Magma software has been proven to reduce power significantly. The new capabilities, integrated with the Talus implementation platform’s unique architecture, scalability and unrivalled automation, will enable designers to reduce the time it takes to develop low-power, multimillion-gate nanometer designs.

“We’ve been using Magma software to develop the coprocessors that are at the heart of our high-performance, low-power accelerator boards for years,” said Russell David, vice president of engineering at ClearSpeed. “As we develop our next generation of coprocessors, we need a solution such as Magma’s that provides sign-off-quality, full-chip, dynamic voltage-drop analysis with on-the-fly characterization so we can understand and optimize dynamic switching behavior. We also need intelligent de-cap analysis and insertion to minimize leakage and increase yield. We’re very pleased that Magma has included these important capabilities in Talus Power and Quartz Rail.”

Talus Power offers advanced power optimization and management techniques such as a completely automated, virtually flat multi-Vdd flow, aggressive power optimization during clock-tree synthesis, MTCMOS switch cell insertion, and an automatic power-grid synthesis methodology that optimizes power distribution. Talus Power also offers a unique Gas Station methodology making it easier to handle complex floor plans in a multi-Vdd design flow. Gas Stations automatically handle top-level nets that cut across switched domains by creating mini islands for the repeaters and buffers. Multi-Vdd designs are widely used in most portable designs including cell phones. With Magma’s automated Gas Station methodology, designers can improve productivity and shorten project cycles. Significant clock tree power reduction is achieved through a variety of optimization techniques such as power-aware buffering, sizing and flop clustering, physically aware clock-gate cloning and un-cloning, activity-based clock gating, optimal buffer insertion and balancing to minimize capacitance and minimizing skew buffers.

Quartz Rail integrates power analysis and planning, dynamic voltage-drop analysis, voltage-drop-induced delay analysis, thermal analysis, and electromigration analysis on rail wires and vias for fast, accurate power integrity sign-off of 65-nm designs. Quartz Rail has a built-in SPICE engine for on-the-fly characterization of standard cells and memories, offering sign-off accuracy. MTCMOS methodologies and other advanced techniques for minimizing leakage require accurate analysis of rush-current behavior when a block is powered on. Quartz Rail’s advanced dynamic IR drop analysis helps the designer understand the power-on, power-off times of MTCMOS switched domains.

Early test results have demonstrated the power reduction and accuracy of Magma’s Talus Power low-power design solutions. On one customer’s chip – a 250K-gate, 350-MHz, 90-nm consumer electronics design – Talus Power reduced clock tree power from 150mw to 80mw and the total power from 435mw to 301mw. Early testing of Quartz Rail has shown it to produce results within 5 percent of SPICE for power analysis and within 12 percent of SPICE for dynamic IR drop analysis.

“Designing to the strict power requirements of high-performance systems and consumer electronics and cell phones is incredibly difficult, time consuming and costly,” said Kam Kittrell, general manager of Magma’s Design Implementation Business Unit. “Unlike any other low-power design solution, Magma’s provides sign-off-quality power analysis and addresses power problems throughout the RTL-to-GDSII flow, not just during back-end design. This, coupled with advanced low-power techniques, allows Magma software to dramatically reduce power, turnaround time and development costs.”

Talus Power and Quartz Rail are available now. Both products will support the Unified Power Format (UPF) as defined by Accellera’s UPF Technical subcommittee.

About Magma
Magma’s software for integrated circuit (IC) design is recognized as embodying the best in semiconductor technology. The world’s top chip companies use Magma’s EDA software to design and verify complex, high-performance ICs for communications, computing, consumer electronics and networking applications, while at the same time reducing design time and costs. Magma provides software for IC implementation, analysis, physical verification, characterization and programmable logic design, and the company’s integrated RTL-to-GDSII design flow offers “The Fastest Path from RTL to Silicon”(TM). Magma is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif. with offices around the world. Magma’s stock trades on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol LAVA.

Magma is a registered trademark, and Quartz, Talus and “The Fastest Path from RTL to Silicon” are trademarks of Magma Design Automation Inc.