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Posted: Nov 11, 2011

Adapteva Uses Magma's RTL-to-GDSII Flow to Tape Out a 28-nm 64-Core Microprocessor Chip

(Nanowerk News) Magma Design Automation Inc., a provider of chip design software, today announced that Adapteva used Magma software to tape out the Epiphany-IV 64-core microprocessor array IC targeted to GLOBALFOUNDRIES' 28-nm SLP process. By leveraging Magma's Talus®, Hydra™ and Titan™ leveraging Magma's Talus®, Hydra™ and Titan™ digital and analog IC design solutions and the Quartz™ DRC/LVS physical verification tool with newly qualified runsets for the 28-nm SLP process, Adapteva was able to deliver the highest energy efficiency of any floating point processor array solution to date, with ground-breaking performance of 70 GFLOPS/Watt.
The Magma flow is well-suited to the unique design and architectural challenges of the Epiphany-IV. This device includes tiled, high-performance floating-point processing cores with a unique and scalable floorplan architecture that is optimized for dense flip-chip package configurations such as extreme-performance applications with minimal footprint requirements.
Hydra, Magma's multi-level, hierarchical design planning solution provided fast and accurate floor planning capabilities allowing Adapteva to densely pack multiple processor arrays. It also provided the fast and early feedback needed to meet power and package requirements. With Hydra's comprehensive repeated block and semi- and fully-abutted planning support, Adapteva was able to experiment with a number of array configurations to achieve maximum performance and minimum area. Hydra also provided powerful 45-degree RDL routing capabilities ensuring maximum flip-chip package density.
With its unrivaled turnaround time and capacity, the Talus netlist-to-GDSII platform provided Adapteva with the flexibility to explore myriad different architectures. This convergent design flow also gave the designers additional confidence that early placement, timing, area, and power metrics would be met in the later phases of the design flow. This allowed the design team to focus on adding value to the product rather than expending time and effort on design flow considerations.
Talus' robust multi-mode multi-corner capabilities and full-flow optimization with full AOCV support minimized margins enabling Adapteva to deliver a design with the smallest footprint and the highest performance.
The Talus' Flow Manager™, optimized for the GLOBALFOUNDRIES' 28nm SLP process, provided invaluable feedback and analysis during the architecture and configuration exploration stages. Magma's experience in implementing the GLOBALFOUNDRIES 28nm SLP sign-off reference flow also helped to accelerate the flow set up and optimization.
"Adapteva is not a huge semiconductor company, yet with the powerful and comprehensive capabilities of Magma's RTL-to-GDSII flow, we've been able to deliver four generations of silicon and achieve profitability in two years," said Andreas Olofsson, CEO of Adapteva. "The combination of Magma's state-of-the-art software and a close collaboration with GLOBALFOUNDRIES has been instrumental to our success."
"Providing the software and support semiconductor developers need to achieve power, performance and area goals while making chip design profitable is what Magma's Silicon One initiative is all about," said Premal Buch, general manager of Magma's Design Implementation Business Unit. "Adapteva's impressive accomplishments using our software and our ongoing collaboration with GLOBALFOUNDRIES to provide a sign-off ready reference flow, to qualify Quartz for DRC+ and to deliver Quartz runsets for the 28nmSLP process demonstrate that Magma delivers comprehensive technology solutions for emerging silicon."
About Magma
Leading semiconductor companies worldwide use Magma's electronic design automation (EDA) software to produce chips for a wide variety of vertical markets including tablet computing, mobile devices, electronic games, digital video, networking, military/aerospace and memory. Silicon One, Magma's technology solutions for emerging silicon, address time to market, product differentiation, cost and performance while making silicon more profitable. Magma products include software for digital design, analog implementation, mixed-signal design, physical verification, circuit simulation, characterization and yield management. The company maintains headquarters in San Jose, Calif., and offices throughout North America, Europe, Japan, Asia and India. Magma's stock trades on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol LAVA. Follow Magma on Twitter at and on Facebook at Visit Magma Design Automation on the Web at
Source: Magma (press release)
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