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Founder of Ambit and LogicVision Launches Magma Design Automation, Inc.; Start-Up to Deliver Physical Design Automation Technology for Next-Generation Chips.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 29, 1997--The founder of two successful electronic design automation (EDA) software start-ups recently formed Magma Design Automation, Inc. to develop technology for designing next-generation integrated circuits (ICs).

Rajeev Madhavan, Magma's president and chief executive officer, formed Magma in April 1997. He previously cofounded LogicVision, Inc. in 1993 to develop software for testing chip designs; and founded Ambit, Inc. in 1994 to develop logic synthesis software. Both companies are still privately held.

Magma received its first round of funding from a group of private investors that includes Andreas Bechtolsheim, cofounder of Sun Microsystems and now a vice president of engineering at Cisco Systems. Bechtolsheim is also a member of Magma's Board of Directors.

"Backend design methodology is the biggest challenge in getting large submicron chip designs to market in a timely fashion," said Bechtolsheim. "Rajeev has a great track record in developing new EDA technology and starting successful companies. We use both Ambit and LogicVision in our chip designs at Cisco today."

"The challenges of designing next-generation deep submicron chips have only begun to be recognized," said Madhavan.

"We created Magma to focus entirely on the physical design issues that today create an unmanageable bottleneck and require lots of manual intervention. Because wires are getting so long and narrow, signal coupling is creating more crosstalk between the wires, and creating noise in the power and ground planes. We're working on technology designers can use to manage those problems."

Magma investors include, among others, Bechtolsheim; Atiq Raza, chief technology officer of AMD and former CEO of Nexgen; and Raj Raghavan, founder of Virtual Chips. The research advisory board includes Massoud Pedram, professor of engineering at the University of Southern California; Giovanni De Micheli, professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University; and Jason Cong, professor of computer science at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Magma is developing software and methodologies to handle the complex issues of designing chips with interconnect wires that are less than 0.25 microns wide. The company's products will focus on achieving timing closure during the placement and routing of deep submicron designs.

Initial products will handle large complex designs and help designers manage such deep submicron issues as signal noise, crosstalk, and multiple layer routing. The company's R&D team consists of engineers recruited from EDA companies that include Avant!, Cadence, Compass, and Synopsys.

Rajeev Madhavan has spent the last four years building successful startups. He was a cofounder of LogicVision, a successful built-in self-test (BIST) company, and founded Ambit Design Systems, which is successfully competing against Synopsys, the pioneer of commercial logic synthesis.

Prior to Ambit and LogicVision, Madhavan led the development of Verilog-A, an analog hardware description language, at Cadence Design Systems. He started his career at Nortel (then Bell Northern Research) developing synthesis products. He received his MSEE from Queens University in Kingston, Canada.

Karen Vahtra, cofounder and marketing manager, has focused her career on supporting customers in the chip design process. As the first Synopsys design consultant and one of the first Synopsys application engineers, she led designers into adopting new methodologies.

Prior to Synopsys, Vahtra was a major accounts engineer for Daisy Systems, supporting behavioral and logic simulation tools. She r.D. at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. Dr. van Ginneken's Ph.D. thesis was on "Automation of Custom Layout by Flexible Design."

Product Availability

Magma products are currently under development, and are expected to be in the hands of select custo


Lois DuBois, PR Counsel for Magma

Lois DuBois, 650/854-5485



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Date:Sep 29, 1997
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