Pulsic Enters "Big" Digital/ASIC Design Arena

Prelude Scalable Physical Design Framework Delivers Awesome Performance

Design Automation Conference, Anaheim (CA), 2 June 2003 – Pulsic Limited, the British EDA company that delivers breakthrough shape-based methodologies to the IC layout market, today announced the Prelude Physical Design Framework?, its new shape-based, ultra-high capacity, high performance IC physical design solution for very large digital/ASIC designs, running into millions of nets and cells. Prelude comprises a physical design framework with ECO placement and routing capabilities, powered by a scalable architecture, using a true distributed computing environment.

Commenting on the launch, Mark Williams, CEO of Pulsic said, “Today, no commercially-available physical design tools can successfully handle the loading, placement and routing of huge multi-million cell designs. Tackling this problem with a fully shaped-based methodology makes what we are doing with Prelude even more unique. At the heart of the Prelude Framework is a highly efficient and compact database. A recent customer design containing approximately 370K cell instances, all fully-routed, had a memory footprint of 306MB. This exceeds our own target of 1GB of machine memory allocated per 1 million nets/cells, and makes Prelude one of a kind.”

The new Prelude product line completes the spectrum of design types that Pulsic tools address. Analog, custom, mixed-signal, chip-assembly and smaller digital designs are effectively handled by the Lyric Physical Design Framework. The Prelude Physical Design Framework now closes the loop with its ability to handle extremely large digital designs.

The launch of Prelude represents a significant step forward in Pulsic’s development and commercial roadmap, and represents a major breakthrough in the industry. “The Lyric Framework is targeted for all IC design types, and is limited only by capacity – today that’s between 100K to 200K cells. Whereas Prelude, specifically aimed at massive digital/ASIC designs, is capable of handling designs of up to 10M nets – and is only physically limited by RAM. Prelude is extending the boundaries of IC design,” added Williams

Scalable Design Framework Delivers Awesome Performance

Although the placement and global routing capabilities of the Prelude Physical Design Framework are native to the system, the detailed routing is handled by a true distributed computing environment, comprising Lyric module routing engines, which are all driven and mediated by Prelude. This intelligent use of resource fully utilizes all the power and flexibility of Lyric’s shape-based capabilities for efficient interconnect completion and handling of signal integrity issues. It also provides extensive support for leading DSM rules and processes, including slotting and 45-degree/free-angle routing rules.

Prelude manages the distributed computer farms to extract maximum power from the resources available: the more Lyric modules that are available, the faster the routing is completed. Prelude also supports a true heterogeneous network, to include any combination of hardware and computer farm configurations. Full ECO Support for Large Scale ECO Placement

Prelude ECO delivers invaluable features and capabilities to the designer in handling late stage ECO changes in extremely large digital/ASIC designs. Every element of the design can be modelled incrementally within the Prelude framework. This eliminates the need to restart the physical design, despite any subsequent changes resulting from upstream or downstream processes. Automatic ECO placement capabilities minimize any disruption to the design, including the ability to shove cells aside to make space for new or relocated instances, and the ability to drop groups of components and automatically find legal placement sites for them. The incremental detailed routing can then repair any violating routes and stitch up any new introduced wires, again with minimum impact; ensuring circuit stability is never compromised.

About Prelude

The new Prelude Physical Design Framework includes:

  • Efficient and compact database capable of handling millions of nets using a memory footprint of less than 1GB per 1M nets/cells.

  • Placement capabilities including ability to shove cells aside to make space for new or relocated instances, and the ability to drop groups of components and automatically find legal placement sites for them.

  • Full ECO support including large scale ECO placement – the design can be modified incrementally which means there is never any need to start again on the physical design no matter what changes may need to be made.

  • Extensive support for leading DSM rules and processes – including slotting and 45-degree/free-angle routing rules – due to the use of the powerful Lyric solutions in the Prelude distributed computing environment.


Easy Integration with Customer Design Flows

Pulsic’s products use industry-standard design and constraint formats enabling them to work with tools from Cadence, Synopsys and other vendors, as well as having their own ASCII database format. Pulsic is a member of the Cadence Connections Program and the Synopsys MAP-in Program.

Pricing & Availability

Prelude Physical Design Framework will be showcased at DAC. The first full customer release is targeted for September 2003, when product pricing will be finalized. The product suite uses the industry standard LEF/DEF format, and will also shortly support OpenAccess and Milky Way. It will operate on 32 and 64 bit computer architectures.