Cadence says that large EDA companies and Cadence specifically, are able to innovate and here is an example. This is a from-the-ground-up, organic innovation that they believe is fundamentally different from other tools in the market and addresses a growing problem in the flow that has gotten to consume up to 40% of the development time and takes from 4-6 weeks for some of their customers. That is timing signoff led by static timing verification.
I have heard it said before that many EDA tools are in trouble. The migration from single core to multi-core machines sitting on everyone’s desktop is not as easy to fully utilize as the existing tools would like. In many cases the algorithms were designed for single core or something in the process acts as a gate keeper, or more likely a bottleneck in the process. Cadence has decided to go after one of Synopsys’s strongholds and try to take a bigger piece of the timing signoff market with Tempus.
The timing closure problem is affected by a number of large forces, primarily those of increasing design complexity and an increase in the number of timing views with every new process node. This has resulted in static timing consuming a growing piece of the signoff pie and thus a prime candidate for looking for a new way to tackle the problem. While other algorithms have adopted the easier path of multi-threading, Tempus has taken the solution further by making it truly multi-process which means that each of the processes has to be able to operate in a more standalone manner because communications costs between them are higher. So far, they have run on a 64 core machine and expect it to be able to utilize larger machines as the problem set gets larger.
Perhaps the biggest advancement in the core algorithms comes from the introduction of path-based analysis which is based on slew propagation. Cadence believes that this can result in a 3% reduction in pessimism compared to traditional timing algorithms. With this extra margin you can either complete signoff faster, and in a couple of Cadence example design this was a 10X improvement, or you can go for the extra performance.
Brian Bailey – keeping you covered
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