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Max The Magnificent
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
Max The Magnificent   11/29/2010 9:39:38 PM
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This story just blows me away! I cannot tell you how impressed I am. Until I heard this I would have said that the days of an individual (or a small group) inventing and creating a new chip on their own were long gone -- but this tells me that the days of the garage inventor are still with us and I find that to be incredibly uplifting!

David Ashton
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
David Ashton   11/30/2010 1:20:47 AM
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What a great story. He certainly deserves that smile on his face...

Max The Magnificent
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
Max The Magnificent   11/30/2010 2:09:19 PM
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Hi David -- if I'd done what Andreas did my face would look like a Cheshire Cat (grin)

Daniel Payne
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
Daniel Payne   11/30/2010 3:57:08 PM
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Andreas took the risk and now receives the rewards. All the best to his start-up.

Paul Fernando
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
Paul Fernando   11/30/2010 4:50:55 PM
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I have had the privilege of working with Andreas before he set off on this crazy venture. Only he could pull off something like this. Apart from his brilliant technical skills he has a wonderful personality. Andreas, Iím very happy for you and I wish you the very best going forward!

pbeerak
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
pbeerak   12/1/2010 3:29:10 PM
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This post is definitely a great inspiration to folks out there who are worried about cost of designing ASIC's from the ground up. This post definitely inspired me.

Max The Magnificent
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
Max The Magnificent   12/1/2010 3:37:51 PM
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I know what you mean -- this makes me think that anything is possible :-)

Sudarshan NS
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
Sudarshan NS   12/2/2010 12:34:41 PM
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This is inspiration for me to design my own SoC, which I have been dreaming for years now. All the best Andreas :)

sharps_eng
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
sharps_eng   12/2/2010 12:47:55 PM
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True hands-on, Deep Engineering; coupled with perserverance, self-belief, and intelligent direction of the effort to an end product need! The parallels and contrasts with Chuck Moore's work over at GreenArrays.com are fascinating, although Chuck wrote his own silicon compiler/GDSII layout tools because that was the only way to understand how fast silicon could actually go, and how to reliably achieve that potential performance in production. Juries are still out on commercial success for both efforts although of course we wish them well!

Datwyler
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
Datwyler   12/2/2010 3:34:49 PM
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Amazing. This is what all engineers dream of when they start: making the "idea" into a product that bests the best. I still have a faint vision of this possibility.

dnelson1d
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
dnelson1d   12/2/2010 3:36:38 PM
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So Max, where are these guys working out of? Their website lists an address of Lexington, Mass., is that where Andreas lives? Just curious because Andreas, Oleg, & Roman are not very common in the US, and the whole time I was assuming you were talking about a European company.

Max The Magnificent
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
Max The Magnificent   12/2/2010 3:49:44 PM
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Hi there -- I just glanced over my posting and I don't see anything that would indicate/imply a European company. Yes, Andreas lives in Lexington, Mass (I assume Oleg and Roman do too -- but I never thought to ask). When you say "Andreas, Oleg, & Roman are not very common..." I assume you mean "*The names* Andreas, Oleg, & Roman are not very common..." as opposed to the people (grin). Well, my real name is Clive and that's not very common in America either (which may explain why I so often end up at conferences sporting a badge that says "Olive" -- as you can imagine I get some funny looks (I can only hope they are caused by the badge [grin])

David Ashton
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
David Ashton   12/12/2010 9:42:25 PM
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Now we know why you prefer just "Max"..... ;-)

Max The Magnificent
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
Max The Magnificent   12/13/2010 3:05:31 PM
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Actually, I prefer "Max The Magnificent" :-)

adapteva
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
adapteva   12/2/2010 3:58:57 PM
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Thanks for all the positive comments! It's been a long journey but things are really coming together now. You'll be seeing some pretty cool announcements from us soon.. For my fellow chip designers with dreams of building the next great widget, my advice is to not believe the hype. There are a lot of skeptics out there. Just go build it!

James.Ma
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
James.Ma   12/2/2010 5:05:42 PM
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The guy has got the magic touch. All hail the god of design! But frankly, the rest of us idiots don't do this because our designs often have bugs of logic or layout so we can't get our designs through the tools so easily and we have trouble funding our efforts. But best wishes to Adapteva.

Max The Magnificent
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
Max The Magnificent   12/2/2010 7:52:23 PM
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Re your comment: "All hail the God of design!" You're welcome :-)

Subramanian.Sivaramakrishnan
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
Subramanian.Sivaramakrishnan   12/2/2010 5:14:49 PM
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Truly an inspirational story for many more out there like Andreas. Believe in yourself and keep pushing relentlessly. Congratulations to Andreas and his team mates. Great job!

sreedharsaranga
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
sreedharsaranga   12/3/2010 6:27:10 AM
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Thats the spirit, which will guide and lift to the destination, more over hats of for the self confidence. Really inspiring one for all front end and back end designers, may Andreas stood as role model for all techi guys. Thank you, Sreedhar.

sreedharsaranga
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
sreedharsaranga   12/3/2010 6:28:11 AM
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Possible and dont mind, Andreas can you leave your mail id.

adapteva
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
adapteva   12/3/2010 4:08:48 PM
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Sure it's "first-name" @ adapteva.com

da_in1
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
da_in1   12/3/2010 2:49:07 PM
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Not to minimize the achievement, I have a question. I was involved in a similar sized SOC design using Magma tools also. We had benefit of many parallel computers and full SW from Magma. Simply running the design cycle (STA,clock tree insertion, setup/hold fixes, foirmal checks, DRC/LVS, etc) took much longer than 24 hrs of CPU time - even if there were no errors to fix. How could this development be done so quickly with lesser suite of tools and computers (I am guessing that). I guess I am skeptical that these large SOC designs can be done so quickly and error-free .. but maybe we are dealiung with true gurus here .. Just curious.

adapteva
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
adapteva   12/3/2010 4:16:36 PM
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Thanks for posting a question on one of my favorite topics, design methodologies:-) The secret to the speed of our design flow (and there really is not secret) is having an extremely hierarchical design flow. We built our architecture and design methodology from day one to be modular and scalable (ie hierarchical). It doesn't work for every design type but it's worked extremely well for our regular architecture. Here are some benchmarks for the Magma tools: -block level synthesis and analysis, 6-9 hrs. The key is to partition the design into small blocks (100k-200k gates at most). Then you farm out these small jobs in parallel. -top level DRC, 30 minutes -top level chip assembly of all the small blocks, 1 hr

James.Ma
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
James.Ma   12/3/2010 7:13:52 PM
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Is any design not hierarchical ? But once it's synthesized, it's flat. A chip is essentially flat even with floorplanning. ATPG, memory bist, logic bist, boundry IO cell/chain insertion are all flat. And my favorite part, Test Pattern Generation is flat. A big part of chip design is completely orthogonal to the fucntional design. Of course, I've heard of magical scripts that do all of it with one click.

romat
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
romat   12/3/2010 9:40:53 PM
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Hi James, We all have more than 10 years of experience in chip design and believe me know exactly what does the chip design mean (including custom design, semi-custom and full-synthesis methodologies). Our current flow is really not just about the functional design and does have all of the design phases you mentioned above. We even run the fast spice simulation of the full chip - something that is not that common in the industry (as you probably know). One thing which is probably different in our company is that we really don't try to fight the tools and consider all of the design aspects (synthesis, floorplanning, pnr, etc) as early as at the architecture definition phase of the project. I'll be glad to discuss with you more about our methodologies if you wish - just send us an e-mail "first_name"@adapteva.com Thanks, Roman.

Mxv
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
Mxv   12/4/2010 3:34:36 AM
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Just curious what the whole project cost from start to finished proto (including the free tools). Wonder if my wife will let me spend our savings...

Max The Magnificent
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
Max The Magnificent   12/4/2010 6:26:08 PM
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I asked your wife and she says "No!"

twocs
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
twocs   10/27/2012 1:43:12 AM
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I asked your wife and she says, "Yes!"

davidcemin
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
davidcemin   12/12/2010 9:07:34 PM
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Thats really motivating! His wife is really supportive! Great story!

Esaias.Pech
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
Esaias.Pech   5/6/2011 6:05:00 PM
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This is very inspiring! No doubt his wife is really supportive. Best wishes to Adapteva!

Phadreus
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re: From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
Phadreus   2/5/2013 4:23:44 PM
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The last time I remember something like this was working with a team of 10 genius for 1 year to come up with 1/4 complexity of this project. There also we started from 0..and everything was free..as it was an academic institution.... Salute guys.. you rekindled a hope that garage entrepreneur in vlsi too can be there...a hope that was squashed long time ago.

holahola
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JUST PURE GUTS AND GLORY!
holahola   7/31/2013 4:58:11 PM
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Can't really express how happy and grateful I am to read this story!!! This is the type of complex protoype in 2004 I tried to do myself but with no success due to lack of funds and patience. I applaud your persistence and your mission. With this experience, you will get back your the funds you used in the long run, because this experience is worth way more than the money you invested. Venture capitalists are usually not the way to go for the true breakthroughs... too much politics strangles innovation.

andres@xonelabs.net

Max The Magnificent
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Re: JUST PURE GUTS AND GLORY!
Max The Magnificent   7/31/2013 5:03:12 PM
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@holahola: Can't really express how happy and grateful I am to read this story!!!

I know just what you mean -- I was blown away when I first heard about all of this.

Did you see my follow-up articles talking about how this chip is now being used in a $100 Supercomputer?

Luis Sanchez
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I read the whole article!
Luis Sanchez   8/27/2013 11:16:04 PM
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I don't know much about chip making but I read the whole article! 

Its very interesting and it really sounds motivating. 

I hope I can hear later this company grows steadily!

Max The Magnificent
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Re: I read the whole article!
Max The Magnificent   8/28/2013 10:26:10 AM
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@Luis: ...I hope I can hear later this company grows steadily!

Check out the following column to discover the current state of play:

http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1319192



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