The Week In Review: Design

Synopsys buys OSS management company; Cadence buys SerDes startup; automating IP integration; display IP; improving test.


Synopsys will acquire Black Duck Software, a provider of software for securing and managing open source software. Synopsys already has a stake in this area from its Coverity acquisition in 2014, which it has been using to analyze security practices in open source software. Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Massachusetts, Black Duck’s products automate the process of identifying and inventorying open source code used in projects as well as detecting known security vulnerabilities and license compliance issues. Synopsys will pay approximately $565 million, or $548 million net of cash acquired. The deal is expected to close next month.

Cadence acquired nusemi inc, a startup focused on the development of ultra-high-speed SerDes communications IP. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Founded in 2015, the Mountain View, CA company was headed by Stefanos Sidiropoulos, who previously co-founded Aeluros, a multi-gigabit interface provider which sold to NetLogic Microsystems in 2007.

Concertal Systems debuted its System Design Automation technology to automate IP functional integration. The technology builds full-chip executable functional models, including script and simulation capabilities, in a cloud-based collaborative ecosystem through a web browser. The company says their tool requires no chip design expertise.

Mentor released the latest version of its CFD software, adding new functionality for geometry handling, physics and results visualization. It also includes new free surface simulation functionality for simulating surface flows to observe fluid movement, as well as enhancements to the LED module and the capability to share analysis results.

Synopsys launched a validated built-in-self-test (BIST) and repair IP solution for automotive SoCs. The package, which is ASIL D Ready certified, includes DesignWare STAR Memory System, STAR Hierarchical System, DFTMAX LogicBIST software qualification kit, and ARC HS processors which function as an on-chip safety manager for intelligent periodic and mission mode testing. Additionally, Synopsys’ test platform tools were certified for the ISO 26262 functional safety standard by SGS-TÜV Saar.

Synopsys also uncorked a new suite of embedded memory test and repair features for its STAR Memory System, which it says can provide a 10x reduction in repair time by eliminating extra cycles and testing only faulty memories. Improvements include new hardware and test algorithms and an ECC compiler that calculates the memory failures in time rate.

Mentor added test point technology to its Tessent ScanPro and LogicBIST products, including test points specifically for on-chip compression/ATPG, which reduce ATPG pattern count by 2-4X, according to Mentor. Renesas adopted the technology for its automotive ICs.

Arm announced an integrated display solution comprised of the new Mali-D71, CoreLink MMU-600, and Assertive Display 5. The Mali-D71 limits the workload of the GPU by performing composition, in-line rotation, high quality scaling gamma/de-gamma and other advanced imaging tasks in fixed function hardware, with a single pass through memory. It has twice the performance in the same area as its predecessor, among other improvements. CoreLink MMU-600 protects real time low latency high bandwidth 4K content, while the Assertive Display 5 display subsystem management IP adds HDR management for pipelines and a high-precision local tone-mapping engine.

Flex Logix’s EFLX embedded FPGA will be made available for the SiFive Freedom Platform of RISC-V SoCs at 28nm and 180nm as part of SiFive’s DesignShare program. It will also be integrated into a future tape-out of the SiFive U500 base platform for customer evaluation.

Socionext implemented Cadence’s Joules RTL Power Solution for power analysis to develop a low power high-efficiency video coding (HEVC) 4K/60p chip. Socionext cited a 6X improvement in its power management schedule.

DecaWave deployed Synopsys’ automatic test pattern generation tool for development of an automotive ultra-wide band transceiver IC. DecaWave cited a runtime reduction of nine hours to thirty minutes and 50% reduction in patterns compared to its previous ATPG tool.

TowerJazz and Mentor made available a set of analog design constraint checks, including device alignment, symmetry, and orientation/parameter matching, for TowerJazz customers using Calibre PERC.

Synopsys’ DesignWare Cryptography Software Library was validated through the NIST Cryptographic Algorithm Validation Program for secure functions including block ciphers (AES, DES), digital signatures (RSA and ECC based), secure hashing (SHA-1, 2 and 3) and random number generation.

Ansys released third quarter financial results with revenue of $275.6 million, up 12% from the third quarter of 2016. Earnings per share were $0.85 on a GAAP basis, up 9% from $0.78 from Q3 2016, while non-GAAP income per share for Q3 2017 was $1.05, up 11% from $0.95 in the same quarter last year. For next quarter, the company anticipates revenue between $283 million and $292 million.

Cadence released third quarter financial results with revenue of $485 million, up 8.7% from the same quarter in 2016. On a GAAP basis, income per share stood at $0.29 for Q3 2017, up 26% from $0.23 from Q3 2016. Non-GAAP, income per share was $0.35 for the quarter, up 17% from $0.30 last year. Next quarter, the company expects revenue between $490 million and $500 million.

Worldwide semiconductor sales reached $107.9 billion for the third quarter of 2017, marking the industry’s highest-ever quarterly sales and an increase of 10.2% compared to the previous quarter, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association. In September, year-to-year and month-to-month sales increased across all markets, with the Americas posting its largest year-to-year increase, 40.7%, in seven years.

ICCAD: Nov. 13-16 in Irvine, CA. The conference features papers, tutorials, and workshops on the latest EDA trends and research. Keynotes feature Krysta Svore of Microsoft Research introducing why quantum computing is revolutionary and Todd Austin of the University of Michigan speaking on research that could slash the cost of future hardware designs.

Empowering Leadership with WIT and WISDOM: Nov. 28 at 6pm in Milpitas, CA. The ESD Alliance will host a panel discussion featuring women executives from the technology sector who will address career choices including personal branding, leadership, negotiation, networking and mentoring. The evening will be held at SEMI and begin with dinner and refreshments.

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