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Avant! Accelerates Simulation Performance by over 10X with New Technology; New STAR-ADM capability improves timing simulation for analysis and verification of digital and analog designs.

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 25, 1996--Avant! Corporation, the leader in deep submicron ICDA technology (NASDAQ: AVNT), today announced that it is introducing a new capability to its high-speed, high-capacity, timing and power simulator, STAR-ADM(TM).

The new capability is a linear acceleration technology which improves the simulation speed of STAR-ADM by over 10X for analysis and verification of very deep submicron digital and analog designs.

STAR-ADM is high-performance timing and power simulator for deep submicron memory, processor, graphics, communication and mixed-signal designs. STAR-ADM simulates full-custom digital circuits such as on-chip cache, dynamic logic, pass-transistor logic and asynchronous designs and is widely used by customers worldwide. The simulator accepts SPICE netlists from all popular parasitics estimation and extraction tools.

The new capability offers accelerated simulation performance while reducing memory use for designs with large parasitic elements by up to 90%. It targets applications such as high-performance CPU, memory, analog and mixed-signal designs.

Dr. Chi-Ping Hsu, vice-president of product management and marketing for Avant!, said, "As IC designs migrate to sub-0.35 micron processes, parasitics start to dramatically impact chip performance. Customers need tools that efficiently handle these large linear elements for simulation of physical effects. The new STAR-ADM capability offers customers the best-in-class technology for performance and accuracy. It accelerates designs with millions of parasitic elements while delivering accuracy and ease-of-use."

Dr. Andrew Yang, vice president of Analysis Products Division added, "Our benchmarks of the new linear acceleration capability show that simulation performance improves over 10 times. We employ the PACT or Pole Analysis via Congruence Transformations algorithm which improves simulation speed. This novel technique is particularly effective for reducing large multiport 3-D RC networks with strongly connected internal nodes."

Proven Results

According to Tarang Patil, design engineer for C-Cube and an STAR-ADM user, "Our raw extracted layout database for a multi-port RAM contained 16,600 transistors, 1,400,000 capacitors, and 330,000 resistors. This number of circuit elements and nodes would make any simulator on any reasonable workstation swap, causing unacceptable performance. By using STAR-ADM with its linear acceleration capability, we were able to do the critical cross-coupling analysis on our bit lines in 1.04 hours using 1/10 the memory space while keeping our accuracy within 3% of the results we achieved using the conventional simulation approach."

More about Linear Acceleration

This technology is designed for reduction of large multiport 3-D mesh networks with strongly connected internal nodes. Excellent results are achieved by transforming admittance matrices representing the full network into smaller equivalent matrices which can be directly incorporated into STAR-ADM simulator. The PACT technique optimizes large network matrices in a well-conditioned manner while preserving network stability.

The new linear acceleration capability maintains the integrity of critical cross-talk analysis while simulating a significantly smaller database. This methodology uses proprietary algorithms to retain critical cross-coupled capacitances which are then evaluated by the STAR-ADM simulator. This combination delivers accurate simulation of parasitic effects critical for signal cross-talk, power line, clock skew, power and timing analysis.

Price and Availability

The linear acceleration feature is packaged as an option to STAR-ADM. It supports standard SPICE netlist exchanges to all popular extraction tools and waveform viewers. STAR-ADM simulators start at $65,000 (U.S.). The linear acceleration option is priced at $20,000. (U.S.) and is available now for SUN and HP UNIX workstations.

About Avant!'s STAR Family and STAR-ADM

STAR represents Avant!'s circuit simulation, timing simulation, signal analysis, and RC extraction line of very deep submicron (VDSM) products. STAR-ADM is part of the STAR product family. STAR-ADM is a high speed, high capacity timing simulator which has three capabilities: STAR-ADM-Logic for timing simulation of large digital circuits, STAR-ADM-Analog for analog and mixed-signal circuits and STAR-ADM-LA for timing verification.

Avant! Corporation develops, markets, and supports integrated circuit design automation (ICDA) software for deep submicron ICs, microprocessors, microcontrollers, application-specific standard products (ASSPs) and complex application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). Avant! has a definitive agreement to merge with Frontline Design Automation. On Oct. 29, 1996 Avant! announced the completion of its merger with Meta-Software. Company headquarters for Avant! are in Sunnyvale, CA, telephone 408/738-8881. E-mail:, Web site:

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements, including without limitation statements relating to the business, prospects and results of operations of the company. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties including without limitation that the company will not successfully integrate products, technologies and personnel; that product overlap may occur; that litigation and other contingencies may adversely affect the company; and other risks and uncertainties indicated from time to time in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. -0-

Note to Editors: Available on request: Comparison Results of Avant!'s STAR-ADM Simulation of Extracted Netlists, showing speed improvement and memory usage reduction and Graphic of STAR-ADM environment.

Acronyms: AWE: Asymptotic Waveform Evaluation; ICDA: IC Design Automation; IC: Integrated Circuit; RC: Resistor, Capacitor.

STAR-ADM is a trademark of Avant! Corporation.


Vic Kulkarni, 408/369-5400


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Georgia Marszalek, 415/345-7477
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 25, 1996
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