News | June 2, 1999

Avant!'s Saturn New Standard for VDSM Timing Convergence and Die Size

Avant! Corp. (Fremont, CA) announced the release of the second generation of Saturn, the company's very deep sub-micron (VDSM) timing and die size optimization software. Saturn is a companion product to Avant!'s popular Apollo place and route software.

Saturn combines logic and timing optimizations with Apollo's all path timing-driven place and route technology into a concurrent and integrated design system to address VDSM interconnect delay and timing convergence issues. Industry analysts have identified that the move to 0.18 micron silicon technology creates a paradigm shift that is changing the landscape of the $3.5 billion market for electronic design software. Saturn specifically addresses interconnect-related timing closure problems at 0.25 micron and below.

Saturn is plug compatible for Apollo customers. It optimizes design performance and reduces design cycle time by eliminating the need to iterate back with synthesis to achieve timing convergence. Because Saturn and Apollo share the Milkyway VDSM database and a common timing engine, there is no need to change design methodology or libraries, or discard the tools in existing flows. Apollo users who are considering the move to 0.25 micron and smaller geometries can enhance their configurations by simply adding Saturn. Saturn applies Apollo's patented optimization techniques and knowledge of the circuit's logic and target process library to modify the layout in real time so interconnect, timing and die size are optimized simultaneously for best results.

The second-generation Saturn software uses a multi-point, concurrent optimization technique. This technique, which allows Saturn to optimize the widest range of design styles and real-world system-on-chip (SoC) implementations, simultaneously optimizes layout, logic and interconnect during early floorplanning, during placement and during detailed routing to ensure optimal timing as well as die size. Saturn minimizes critical path delay and optimizes signal timing for different rule checks: maximum transition time, maximum load, maximum fan-out and hold time.

Saturn optimizations can be performed in batch-mode as well as through an interactive GUI. Many new products on the market that do not offer the range of Saturn's optimizations or compatibility with existing software and methodologies compromise density, reduce chip performance and require radical tool swap-outs and time consuming library recompilations.

Avant! will demonstrate the new release of Saturn at this year's Design Automation Conference, June 21-24 in New Orleans. The software is available for immediate shipment on SunOS, Solaris, and HP U/X operating systems. Pricing starts at $200K.

Avant! Corp. Phone: 510-413-8000, Fax +1 510-413-8080