SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- A new Web site that gives IC designers access to noise analysis and correction tools will be unveiled this week by Sapphire Design Automation. The NoiseCorrect.com site will offer free but limited access to Sapphire's NoiseView and NoiseIT tools, along with a wealth of technical information related to noise avoidance in deep-submicron ICs.
Sapphire this week will also announce NoiseView as a standalone static timing tool. NoiseView runs after placement and routing and brings the effects of cross-coupled interconnect capacitance into timing analysis. The existing NoiseIT tool works with Sapphire's FormIT placement and optimization software to avoid and correct sources of noise.
Kevin Walsh, vice president at Sapphire, said that NoiseCorrect.com will help his company reach customers that Sapphire's small direct sales force, which focuses on large ASIC and integrated device manufacturers, might not be able to tap. "The Web is a very non-threatening way to get access to software," he added. 'You can run a small sample and view tutorials. There are a lot of things you can do with actual designs before you have to get a salesperson involved."
"One reason we're doing this is that we don't have a vast channel like Avanti or Cadence," said Shashank Goel, president and chief executive officer of Sapphire. "We don't have enough people on the street. Now we have a channel that doesn't require a salesman to be involved."
NoiseCorrect.com provides access to Sapphire's tools in two ways. First, users can upload a small design and run NoiseView or NoiseIT remotely. Second, users can download either of those tools to use on a trial basis for 30 or 60 days.
In the site's first phase, starting today, users will only be able to upload up to 40,000 gates for NoiseView, or 10,000 placeable instances for NoiseIT. However, access to the tools will be free. In a second phase, planned for this summer, Sapphire will institute a true application service provider model, which will support large designs and provide paid access to the tools.
Tool downloads provide another way to gain access to the 30- or 60-day trials that would be offered by Sapphire salespeople. Users can also initiate runs from NoiseCorrect.com as part of a service contract with Sapphire. Since NoiseView takes industry-standard inputs, any IC designer can use the tool. NoiseIT is intended for Sapphire's FormIT. However, NoiseIT will also work with pre-placements done by Avanti or Cadence Design Systems tools.
Besides tool access, NoiseCorrect.com provides online tutorials, examples and white papers related to noise avoidance. A chat room offers discussions of noise-related issues. A "Crystal Quiet" service guides customers through the steps to initiate a consulting job in the noise area. Sapphire uses a Web-based product and service delivery platform from Interweave Tech Corp. of Santa Clara.
NoiseView does not require any other Sapphire tools to run and is available now on Unix platforms at a unit cost of $75,000.