Startup preps 'system physical prototype'SANTA CRUZ, Calif. Taking a fresh approach to silicon virtual prototyping, startup Javelin Design Automation this week is announcing its mission to provide what it calls "system physical prototyping" (SPP). The company promises tools that bring architectural, logical and physical IC domains together in a single environment.
The startup, which claims to have a working tool with customers and tapeouts, says its software will shorten design cycles and improve quality of results. By linking architectural design with physical implementation, the Javelin tool promises to give designers accurate physical information for making key decisions early in the design cycle.
Silicon virtual prototyping (SVP), which was originally supposed to raise ASIC signoff to the register-transfer level (RTL), has had a rocky start. Providers including Icinergy, InTime Software, Tera Systems, and Monterey Design Automation have folded. Javelin, in fact, purchased the assets of Icinergy shortly after Javelin's launch in 2004.
But Diana Raggett, Javelin president and CEO, firmly believes the time is right for the company's SPP approach. Compared to five years ago, she said, chip design has become much more complicated and market windows have tightened. "Where anybody is pushing anything in a tight window, they need it [SPP]," she said.
Further, Raggett said, Javelin's SPP technology goes beyond the first-generation SVP tools in a number of ways. She said it starts much earlier in the design process, can accept incomplete data, is easier to use, and is more accurate.
Diana Raggett founded Javelin in 2004 with Koko Mihan, vice president of engineering, and husband Matthew Raggett, director. Mihan led engineering at Icinergy. Matthew Raggett was president and CEO of Analog Design Automation before that company's sale to Synopsys. Penny Herscher, former chairman and CEO of Simplex Solutions, is also a director.
Diana Raggett said she spent 10 years in marketing positions at Cadence, where she noted that design teams had no tools for collaboration. "My passion was to really bring a platform together that enables the best minds in a company, whether in architectural, logical or physical design, to work together and deliver the best they possibly can," she said.
With an official product launch slated for late summer, Raggett declined to dive into the details of the Javelin tool. She noted, however, that it encompasses SVP technology by offering constraint-driven floorplanning and placement.
Using both graphical and textual input, Raggett said, the Javelin tool offers a "sandbox" in which customers can quickly run what-if analyses on many different architectures and implementations. The tool serves both architects and RTL designers, she said, and addresses such market segments as consumer, communications, wireless, computing, and storage area networks.
Further information about Javelin is provided in an article in the print edition of this week's EE Times.