Siemens buys Dutch IP validation tool developer

Siemens buys Dutch IP validation tool developer

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Siemens Digital Industries Software has acquired Fractal Technologies in the Netherlands for its production signoff-quality IP validation solutions.

Fractal’s CrossFire and IPdelta tools can be used to quickly and easily validate internal and external IP and libraries used in integrated circuit (IC) designs to improve overall quality and speed time to market.

Crossfire can be used in three ways: for quality sign-off, design development, or assessment of external IPs. As a sign-off tool, Crossfire enables IC developers to check for undesirable variations in IP blocks and design formats, thereby ensuring that an IP block meets their specifications. It can also be used in design development to assess design formats and the quality checks employed to prevent potential misalignments. Fractal has also incorporated specialized APIs into Crossfire to aid IC integrators in analysing IP blocks developed by external vendors and guarantee 100 percent alignment with their specific design format.

The IPdelta tool characterises all aspects in which one IP revision may differ from the next. Every database and file-format supplied is compared and deltas are reported for every relevant category of design data. This includes basic elements like cells and terminals but extends to delay-, power- and noise- arcs, their conditions and associated characterization data. Physical layout is covered, as are schematics, netlists, synthesis properties and functional models.

Siemens plans to these tools to its Xcelerator portfolio for IC verification alongside the Solido Characterization machine-learning acceleration tool for IP validation and characterization. The machine learning technology within Solido enables variation-aware design and library validation for IP, from mature technologies to the most advanced, leading-edge process nodes.

Fractal’s CrossFire IP validation and comparison checking tools are used by top-tier foundries, IP providers, integrated device manufacturers and fabless semiconductor companies to accelerate time-to-tapeout and improve silicon results by enabling design data quality and integrity.

“Today’s semiconductor design teams are seeking every possible advantage to deliver advanced, high-quality SoCs to market as rapidly as possible,” said Ravi Subramanian, Ph.D., senior vice president, IC Verification, Siemens Digital Industries Software. “Our acquisition of Fractal Technologies, combined with the Solido product family, provides customers a tremendous advantage with a comprehensive IP validation solution that can speed design schedules, improve power, performance, and area (PPA) and identify sources of silicon failure before design tapeout.”

“Semiconductor IP such as standard cells, memories, I/Os, and other specialized custom IP are the critical foundation upon which the world’s chips are built,” said Rene Donkers, chief executive officer for Fractal Technologies. “Being part of Siemens allows us to accelerate our R&D efforts, support a growing customer base, and further our vision to help enhance design closure predictability and turnaround time.”

Donkers started in EDA at Sagantec where he became responsible for world wide customer support and operations management, founding Fractal ten years ago.

The acquisition of Fractal Technologies closed in May 2021. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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