Floorplanner And Prototyping Platform Takes Lead From Specification

June 2, 2008
Called the first tool of its kind on the market, Javelin Design Automation has launched its j360 tool suite, a specification-driven virtual-silicon prototyping platform and floorplanner. Javelin’s j360 is said to realistically predict and optimize designs

Called the first tool of its kind on the market, Javelin Design Automation has launched its j360 tool suite, a specification-driven virtual-silicon prototyping platform and floorplanner. Javelin’s j360 is said to realistically predict and optimize designs for implementation feasibility and quality-of-results (QoR) in parallel to their design development at the electronic system-level (ESL), register transfer-level (RTL) and netlist stages of design.

The suite’s specification-driven floorplanning capabilities enable users to “plug and play” data from any abstraction level including spreadsheet, black box, ESL, RTL, gate level, LEF/DEF, GDSII, and foundry technology models. In this way, users can prototype blocks and full chips as they exist in concept and actual design files at any point in the design process.

Understanding and leveraging design and block data as it exists increases both the accuracy and flexibility of the new j360 tool suite. Design objective specifications can be captured and fed-forward into implementation flows to ensure rapid, on-target design closure. The j360 tool suite includes TrueFit, TruePlan, and TruePro, which all share an intuitive, user-friendly interface environment and underlying j360 DataWarehouse. The DataWarehouse can be pre-populated with existing company and third-party IP libraries and process technologies. In addition, the j360 suite has integrated extremely fast, multi-threaded FloorPlacement, Virtual Route, and Organic Placement engines that deliver realistic predictions of downstream implementation tool flow results in a fraction of the time of traditional commercial solutions.

TrueFit is a silicon-aware chip estimation tool tailored for use by business managers, system chip architects, and project leaders for quick and accurate analysis and estimation of die area, power, cost and I/O utilization at the aggregated level. The user can “drag and drop” actual IP data from the j360 DataWarehouse, or import chip content data from spreadsheets to quickly determine high-level chip estimates automatically that respect underlying silicon processes as well as IP rules and constraints. The user can perform real-world trade-offs, develop design constraints for use later in the design process, and monitor chip metrics against target specs as the design progresses through the development process.

TruePlan is tailored for system architects, project leaders and RTL engineers. Instead of waiting until complete and clean RTL/netlists are available, users can now explore and optimize trade-offs in chip architecture, bus topologies, inter-block dataflow, RTL micro-architecture, design structure and/or partitioning with partial or “dirty” RTL/ netlists, in parallel to others developing their respective portions of the chip. This is done by mix-and-matching their plug and play data into the whole to prototype feasible chip-plan options comprised of inter-block connectivity, existing blocks and context-optimized placeholders for blocks that do not yet exist. Users capture their design intent, analyze chip-level and inter-block routes and timing, insert virtual buffers, estimate RTL area and budgets, group and partition logical-to-physical, and plan power.

TruePro is tailored for physically-aware chip architects, RTL designers, timing leads, and chip integrators to validate that the chip-plans and blocks are physically close-able. This is accomplished by enabling progressive prototyping of the chip-plan and/or blocks-in-chip context as block netlists become available. TruePro’s fully multithreaded and multicore Organic Placement and Virtual Route engines provide fast QoR feedback on congestion and timing of these early netlists. This concurrent, hierarchical chip-planning with block-prototyping-in-chip context methodology is called “Progressive Prototyping”. This enables design teams to quickly predict, detect, analyze and fix identified issues in the chip plan well before final netlists are available.

The j360 System Physical Prototyping tool suite is available now and runs under Linux and Windows for enterprise-wide collaboration. List prices are $350,000 for a foundation bundle containing one each of TrueFit, TruePlan, and TruePro. Additional seats of TrueFit, TruePlan and, TruePro may be purchased separately.

Javelin Design Automation

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