Avant! tools get physical and chip logic design is boosted

Avant! tools get physical and chip logic design is boosted
Richard Ball Avant! has announced new physical analysis design tools and has expanded its IC logic design business. Two analysis tools have been released by the ex-Technology Modelling Associates group. TMA was acquired by Avant! earlier this year. Taurus-Process and Taurus-Device predict the physical effects of using advanced semiconductor processes. The former allows a complete process to be simulated, including implantation, oxidation, diffusion, and etching. The latter tool enables the electrical characteristics of the process to be estimated. The company’s logic design business has a new design methodology. SinglePass aims to reduce design time by combining the logic, layout and timing information of an IC design into a single database and design flow. Avant! is doing well, despite its bitter and protracted legal battle with Cadence, which includes the threat of imprisonment for several of its senior directors. Last year revenues were $147m, up 39 per cent on 1996. First quarter revenue for 1998 exceeded $52m. The ArcCell and Aquarius place and route software, the subject of the legal wrangling, is now being updated with Apollo, which – most observers believe – is untainted by allegations of source code theft. A string of acquisitions throughout the last two or three years has greatly expanded the company’s product lines, adding circuit simulation and analysis, formal verification and physical IC analysis.


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