OTTAWA, Ontario -- Intel Corp. and Synopsys Inc. are among new investors pumping $8 million into Analog Design Automation Inc. here. The startup is applying intelligent systems technology to synthesizing analog and mixed-signal IC designs.
"We are taking analog design tools to a higher level of abstraction," said Amit Gupta, president and CEO of the two-year-old company. "We believe this technology could break open the analog design software market just like Synopsys broke open digital designs automation with its synthesis technology."
The startup's first major product, called AMS Genius, uses proprietary topological programming algorithms to achieve analog and mixed-signal synthesis. The algorithms automate the task of optimizing circuit topology with transistor sizing and biasing. This frees up hard-to-find analog circuit experts to focus on development of new cells and enabling junior-level designers to handle a wider range of jobs in product development, said Derek King, executive vice president of business development at ADA.
The $8 million in funding will be used to increase the startup's sales and support staff. The Canadian company also is working on additional tools for hierarchical design methodology, Gupta said.
With greater levels of automation, ADA believes it can address a potential market that's roughly twice the size of today's analog design software business. Analog design tools current pull in about $300-to-$400 million a year worldwide, but many larger companies continue to develop their own engineering software because there has been little improvement in the analog segment in the past decade, according to Gupta and King.
In addition to Intel and Synopsys, new investors in ADA are High Street Partners and Royal Bank Capital Partners. Synopsys is interested in funding the startup to help accelerate development of system-on-chip designs, said Michael O'Brien, vice president of corporate business development at the Mountain View, Calif., company. O'Brien was named a member of ADA's board of directors in addition to Tom Lombardi, general manager of Intel's Colorado Springs Design Center.
-J. Robert Lineback