Electronic Design

New Database Powers IC Design Suite

By opening up its Milkyway design database and building its new Galaxy design platform around it, Synopsys has accomplished two critical goals. For one, it has cut the risks in nanometer design by bringing consistency in timing and delay calculation throughout the flow. Secondly, opening Milkyway strikes a blow for EDA tool interoperability with new promising initiatives under way.

Galaxy will integrate Synopsys' own franchise tools, including Design Compiler, Astro, and PrimeTime. All of the tools read to and write from the common Milkyway database, bringing to bear consistent timing, common libraries, delay calculation, and constraints across the platform from RTL to silicon.

With the opening of Milkyway, tool users and vendors also can link their tools into the database through either a scripting language application programming interface (API) or C-based API. Synopsys has made the database freely available on its Web site through its Milkyway Access Program (MAP-in). The company also has built up a full support infrastructure to aid integrators.

Synopsys is seeking to close the interoperability loop by working with the Silicon Integration Initiative's (Si2) Open-Access Coalition's (OAC) Golden Gate Working Group. This group is working to bridge OpenAccess and Milkyway, first to provide interoperable flows between Open-Access and Milkyway-based tools, and then to align the APIs for smooth data transfer between tools.

"Customers want commonality between the APIs. They're not so concerned about having one single common database, but they want to be able to talk to all different databases in a common way," says Rich Goldman, Synopsys' VP of strategic market development. "We'll address that concern by working with OpenAccess."

More than 20 EDA and semiconductor vendors have lined up behind Milkyway, with Mentor Graphics a new endorser.

Synopsys Inc.

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