SANTA CRUZ, Calif. -- Synplicity Inc. and NEC Electronics have announced that they will work together to craft Amplify ISSP, a specialized physical synthesis tool for NEC's Instant Silicon Solution Platform (ISSP) range of structured ASICs.
Expected for delivery in the first quarter of 2004, the tool is the second in a series of Amplify offerings aimed at specific structured ASIC architectures.
Synplicity already has ISSP mapping technology with Synplify ASIC, its RTL synthesis solution. But Amplify, which goes all the way to placed gates, will yield better performance and timing closure, said Mike Gallagher, Synplicity director of ASIC marketing.
Amplify ASIC, announced May 2003, is an ASIC physical synthesis tool that claims to be directly competitive with Synopsys' Physical Compiler. In addressing the structured ASIC market, however, Synplicity is choosing to develop customized versions of Amplify that are aimed at specific architectures. Earlier this year, Synplicity and LSI Logic worked together to develop Amplify RapidChip, which targets LSI's RapidChip structured ASICs.
"When we build a tool for the ISSP, we're building in a very detailed knowledge that is specifically that of NEC," said Gallagher. "They have a muxed-based architecture that's allocated in a very fixed ratio. The synthesis tool has to be aware of that, and you gain some good advantages if you understand the floorplan that comes along with it."
Gallagher said that NEC's physical layout tools won't re-do the placement that comes out of Amplify ISSP, but will do the routing and complete some final checks, such as signal integrity.
The Amplify ISSP software is expected to perform automatic memory block placement, concurrent full-chip placement and customized physical synthesis, timing analysis, and ISSP-specific datapath and arithmetic operator generation. It is expected to handle any size ISSP design flat, without a need to partition for synthesis.
NEC, meanwhile, has established the ISSP EDA Vendor Alliance, a third-party program that counts Synplicity as a charter member.