Altos Variety LX Enables Ultra-Fast Corner, Statistical Characterization

Altos Design Automation Inc. announced Variety LX, a new advanced product that unifies corner characterization (Liberate[tm]) and statistical characterization (Variety[tm]) into a single characterization platform. New capabilities available in Variety LX include: 1) generation of current source dynamic power models (CCS and ECSM); 2) characterization of current density to enable electromigration analysis; 3) a 2X speedup improvement for statistical modeling and 4) a faster interface to external SPICE simulators that cuts characterization time in half; 5) support for coarse grained low power cell types such as footer and header switches.

Altos’s “inside view” technology has been expanded to support complex custom digital cells including automatic vector generation for cells with large pin counts, support for cells with multiple internal states such as pipeline flip-flops and simultaneous input switching delay modeling. For analog and complex I/O cells, Variety LX supports characterization using an arbitrary test harness, delay measurement of differential signals including relative voltage swings, IBIS 4.2 format and current mode logic (CML).

“We selected Variety LX because our 45nm and below STARCAD-CEL design flow needs both sophisticated corner libraries that can model low power and statistical timing models that account for process variation,” Nobuyuki Nishiguchi, vice president and general manager at STARC said. “Using Variety LX we are able to very quickly generate the large number of views that are needed for both nominal and statistical signoff.”

Aki Fujimura, CEO at Direct2Silicon, Inc., said, “Our Virtualmasktm technology requires optimized physical cell libraries for direct write electron-beam lithography.” Fujimura continued, “We are using the Altos characterization tools because they can very efficiently re-characterize our library to ensure that there is no performance penalty between the ebeam optimized version and the original. We are also very impressed by the “inside view” automatic vector generation feature that finds missing worst-case conditions that are often overlooked by other characterization tools.”

Jim McCanny, Altos CEO and founder said, “Characterization plays a significant role in enabling designers to meet all the challenges of performance, cost, yield, switching power, reliability and leakage when designing at advanced process nodes.” McCanny continued, “We created Variety LX to support customers who are using a mixture of statistical and corner analysis tools who wanted both data consistency and a common interface.”

About Variety LX
Variety LX is an ultra-fast library creator that generates electrical models in Liberty®, Verilog, Vital and IBIS formats. Variety LX supports all the latest models for timing, noise and power such as CCS (Composite Current Source) and ECSM (Effective Current Source Models) including the statistical ECSM and CCS variation extensions required to support statistical static timing analysis (SSTA). Variety LX also supports ultra low power and high speed design styles that include power gating cells, state retention registers, level shifters, pulse clocking and CML.

Pricing and Availability
Variety LX is available now; pricing starts at $120K per year.

About Altos
Altos Design Automation provides ultra-fast, fully-automated characterization technology for the creation of library views for timing, signal integrity and power analysis and optimization. Altos advanced modeling solutions are used by both corner-based and statistical-based design implementation flows to reduce time to market and improve yield. Privately held, Altos was founded in 2005 in Santa Clara, CA. Its corporate headquarters is at 4020 Moorpark Ave., Suite 100, San Jose, CA 95117. Telephone: (408) 980-8056.