SpringSoft Updates Laker Custom Layout Automation System

SpringSoft, Inc. (TAIEX: 2473), a global supplier of specialized IC design software, announced the availability of its latest version of the Laker[tm] Custom Layout Automation System, which offers the industry’s most complete and robust support of the OpenAccess (OA) database standard. The release builds on several years of collaboration by SpringSoft with other industry leaders to develop the infrastructure and technology required to deliver on the promise of the OA effort.

The latest release of the Laker system is completely compatible with the OA database and API, which can be used as the center of a multi-vendor interoperable IC design environment. It supports all the necessary interfaces, libraries and design kits – including interoperable process design kits (iPDKs) from TSMC – to work within a heterogeneous tool environment. It also works with other custom IC tools, such as Cadence’s Virtuoso. The interoperability means that a layout created in Cadence’s Virtuoso can be used in the Laker system and vice versa, for example.

“SpringSoft has invested significantly in helping to make OpenAccess a viable and useful standard for IC designers. We are pleased to see the fruition of our efforts realized through this release of Laker fully supporting OA, which delivers on the promise of a truly interoperable standard and enhances the overall automation benefits of our solution,” said Duncan McDonald, director of product marketing for Custom IC Design Solutions at SpringSoft.

The Promise of OA
The OA standard effort was initiated with a goal of dramatically reducing the number of translation steps in a typical EDA flow by using a single standard database and API that were created specifically for IC design. This also prevents the loss of data in communicating between tools as there is no database conversion required. OA is built on a standard database and API, avoiding conflicts or ambiguities in data interpretation, and features centralized support for name mapping, data integrity, import, export, and other routine database chores.

The Laker system supports all of these standardization features in the latest release, ensuring a true interoperable platform for a multi-tool flow. An important part of SpringSoft’s approach to OpenAccess is to ensure multi-vendor interoperability for all three OA application interfaces: file exchange, data exchange, and common runtime model. While most EDA multi-vendor scenarios use the data exchange interface (i.e., the application uses the OpenAccess API to access design data, but then reformats it into a unique runtime model used by the application), SpringSoft embraces the much more tightly coupled runtime model interface. Using the runtime model, applications work together in the same memory on a shared OpenAccess runtime model.

SpringSoft has worked closely with key OA supporters such as Synopsys, Magma Design Automation, Mentor Graphics, and TSMC to test and implement the OA standard in complete environment. It has demonstrated interoperability with a variety of tool suppliers, and has tested the latest versions of OA extensively to ensure reliability and seamless integration.

The Laker System’s support of OA extends to IPL PDKs, the industry’s first interoperable process design kits from TSMC. The iPDK support features support for TSMC’s 65-nm process, with a roadmap to 40nm and 28nm support.

About SpringSoft
SpringSoft, Inc. is a global supplier of specialized automation technologies that accelerate engineers during the design, verification and debug of complex digital, analog and mixed-signal ICs, ASICs, microprocessors, and SoCs. Its award-winning product portfolio features the NovasTM Verification Enhancement and Laker Custom IC Design solutions used by more than 400 of today’s leading IDM and fabless semiconductor companies, foundries, and electronic systems OEMs. Headquartered in Hsinchu, Taiwan, and San Jose, California, SpringSoft is the largest company in Asia specializing in IC design software and a recognized industry leader in customer service with more than 400 employees located in multiple R&D sites and local support offices around the world.

Laker and Novas are trademarks of SpringSoft, Inc.