Cloud-based DRC/LVS tools: affordable EDA for SMEs

May 25, 2017 //By Steve Cowper and Alexander Grudanov
The recent expansion of small and medium enterprises needing to produce IC designs to support high growth areas such as Internet of Things (IoT) has led to a new EDA requirement that is markedly different to the typical user of Physical Verification (PV) tools.

Traditionally, the market was dominated by large enterprises that could afford to have dedicated teams of designers who used the large-scale PV tool suites produced by well-known providers. With annual licenses costing typically 15,000 to 50,000 Euros, this is clearly not sustainable for a small IC designer who may do at most one or two tape outs per year.

In order to address this need, Polyteda Cloud, led by CEO Alexander Grudanov, was founded in 2015. With its headquarters and R&D team located in Kiev, Ukraine, the startup has a strong focus on the EU market.

Polyteda Cloud leans heavily on the real world experience gained by Polyteda Ukraine who have been producing innovative tools for PV such as PowerDRC/LVS since 2009 and which has been silicon-proven many times at 250 to 40nm nodes and shown to be effective up to 28nm.

The aim was to be able to provide a full suite of PV tools that could be accessed securely from any location simply by entering a URL into a web browser. They recognised that in order to deliver this, they would need to also provide a fully managed billing solution as well as addressing the concerns over IP protection. Having entered the EU Horizon 2020 competition, Polyteda Cloud became the first Ukrainian company to be awarded funding through this route and PVCloud was born as a product.

This unique solution allows IC designers to access PV tools on an hourly pay-as-you-use basis, giving them control over costs but still allowing them to confirm that their designs are compliant with foundry rule sets.


The PVCloud workflow.

PVCloud uses the underlying technology of the Polyteda solution to not only provide the benefit of PV-as-a-Service (PVaaS) but also to leverage the multiprocessor power of cloud solutions to deliver significant performance enhancements. Polyteda’s solutions have always had a reputation for very fast performance that is linearly scalable due largely to the use of a ‘Native Flat’ architecture and ‘One Shot Window Scan’ (check the whitepaper at http://bit.ly/2qTSPhC ).