STMicroelectronics is to use Magma Design Automation's BlastFusion in a project based at Agrate, Italy to develop a new flow for 0.18um designs and below.
Over the next six months, Magma and ST said they would work on importing ST's libraries and run pilot projects. If the projects complete successfully, ST said it intends to deploy Magma software as part of its standard internal design flow.
At the same time, Magma said that design consultancy QThink has completed seven designs for six different customers.
Graham Curren, European marketing manager for design automation competitor Avant, said despite the potentially wide-ranging nature of the ST deal with Magma, it was unlikely that the semiconductor company would use one flow for all its chip designs.
Andreas Schuette, European manager of Avant's silicon business operation, added: "If we believed that these major customers will standardise on one tool, we would be fooling ourselves. They will always take different tools from different vendors."
The Magma statements on contracts and tapeouts represent the latest salvo in an ongoing war to determine who has the most silicon tapeouts and is deriving real revenues from merged synthesis and place-and-route tools.
Magma claims to have 25 tapeouts up to now, most of them since October 2000.
Rajeev Madhavan, president and CEO of Magma, said: "We have booked $80 million, the largest of any player in enhanced place and route. That is from 17 customers."
In December 2000, Synopsys chairman Aart de Geus said his company had participated in 53 tapeouts with its "physical synthesis" tools and had booked close to $50 million of business.