Pulsic Announces New Release of IC Physical Design Solution

Extended shape-based single environment for all new Lyric products delivers significant speed-ups

Design Automation Conference, San Diego, CA – 7 June 2004 – Pulsic Limited, the EDA company that delivers shape-based, IC physical design solutions for analog, mixed-signal and custom digital designs, today announced a major new release of its Lyric Physical Design FrameworkT. Setting it apart from other tools on the market, Lyric release 4.2 uniquely provides a common platform for all tools supported by a shape-based methodology, giving users a huge leap in flexibility and the required quality of results to meet performance targets.

Pulsic has significantly expanded the Lyric Framework both vertically to address more tasks within the physical design flow, and horizontally to address specific design areas, such as datapath, DRAM/SRAM and analog/RF. The new product development has been driven by user demand, extending the reach of Lyric from shape-based routing to include placement across a wide range of target designs: including analog, mixed-signal, memory, datapath, and custom digital. Its new and extended single, shape-based data model supports detailed floorplanning, automatic/interactive placement and automatic/interactive routing with concurrent built-in RC extraction to control timing and signal integrity issues in a powerful, single environment.

Commenting on the 4.2 release, Mark Williams, Founder and COO at Pulsic said, “Designers can now take a design from just cell and netlist data, through floorplanning, place, route (all auto/auto-interactive/ interactive) to their final sign-off stage all within the single Lyric platform. Its extensive checking tools are extremely powerful due to the data model being shape-based.”

“Significant speed-ups can be realized as the need to access other tools in the design flow is replaced by the single Lyric environment, operating on the same engine. The difference with us is that all the tools in the framework are shape-based, not just the router. This allows the user to perform fast iterations through all versions of floorplanning and placement to assess the best approach to close the design,” Williams added.

Highlights of the new 4.2 Lyric Physical Design Framework release include:

NEW – Full detailed floorplanning capability that generates suitable floorplans to drive the enhanced fully automatic detailed placement engine. This allows Lyric to address more of the design flow coming straight from device creation and netlist through to sign-off verifications. The floorplanning tools can generate floorplans based on a number of criteria – including physical data (cell geometries, process technology), non rectilinear placement areas, flipping of alternate cell rows for power, particular cell-row setup (abutting, pairs, spaced, etc.). When combined with the Lyric polygon editing tools, precise floorplans can be generated with ease.

NEW – Automatic Placement allows full automatic placement of cells into placement regions. The placement supports externally imported region information, but when combined with Lyric’s own floorplanning region generation, a very fast and flexible solution is delivered to the user. The user can quickly undo both the detailed placement and floorplan generation, adjust the floorplan parameters and quickly regenerate the floorplan and re-place the design to see the result. The placement engine is currently minimum wire length driven, and nets can be weighted to encourage the detailed placement to place devices on those nets closer together.

NEW – Automatic Power Ring & Mesh Generation – Integrated into the topological control products of the Lyric framework, the user can now draw a polygon outline to designate the area of the design that requires power ring and mesh structures – and the tool will automatically generate those structures and define their topology so that the full automatic detailed router stitches correctly to the mesh structure. This is extremely fast and flexible and delivers great benefits to the user especially during the block floorplanning stage of a design. If adjustments need to be made to the block level floorplan, then the ring and mesh structure can be quickly deleted, the polygon outline simply adjusted, and the structure regenerated. Due to the single shape-based data model at the heart of Lyric, the power nets and resultant structures can be succinctly defined using the extensive hierarchical rule set.

Increased complexity due to the shrinking processes presents a key challenge for IC designers today, and interconnect delay is now a critical factor. A shape-based approach to both placement and routing can help greatly in resolving and avoiding these leading edge issues.

This release is a major development for Pulsic that has been well received by our user base, and prepares the way for future expansion into the pure analog market. We are working on breakthrough technologies in the transistor placement and compaction area that is currently not met by any tool,” Williams concluded.

Pricing & Availability

The Lyric Physical Design Framework is shipping in July 2004 on Solaris 2.5.1-8.0 (32 and 64 bit), HPUX 11.0, NT4/2000/XP and Linux 2.2.X-2.4.X. Pricing starts at approximately US$31,000 per year for the floorplanning and topological control modules and US$46,000 per year for the full automatic placement module, based on a single floating time-based license.