Want to avoid redesigning your IC? Sagantec can fulfil your DREAMs

Want to avoid redesigning your IC? Sagantec can fulfil your DREAMs
David Manners A Dutch company has come up with a means of avoiding having to redesign an IC every time a chip company refines its process technology . Sagantec’s DREAM migration software, which can automatically migrate a chip design from one process geometry to another without re-synthesis, has successfully integrated ITT Intermetall’s 800,000 transistor, two chip, TV chip-set made in 0.8 micron technology into a single, half micron technology, chip. It took three months. “DREAM can convert any design on any process to any other process”, Hein van der Wildt, president and CEO of Sagantec, told Electronics Weekly, “it takes in the design rules of the target process, scans a layout and, as it sees a polygon edge, it enforces the design rules of the target process – and out comes a proven new design.” As well as migrating a design to a new process DREAM optimises the new design by, for instance, minimising the use of polysilicon. “We have several benchmarks to show that a DREAM design is as good as a re-synthesised design”, said van der Wildt. van der Wildt said that Sagantec has sold licences to DREAM – at $200,000 a time – to every company in the world semiconductor top twenty, as well as to all the major CAD companies: Cadence, Mentor, Synopsis and Avant!. However the licence only buys one ‘seat’ and most companies want multiple seats so Sagantec is growing rapidly. In 1995 it had revenues of $1.25m, last year it had sales of $2.5m, this year it expects to do $10m. Next year, in the second quarter, it intends to go public with a float on the US NASDAQ stock exchange. DREAM evolved as part of a EU-backed research programme on developing a common European cell library. $25m was invested in developing the migration software.


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