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Atrenta Introduces First Low-Power RTL Predictive Analysis Capability; Now designers can optimize for power early in the design cycle

Atrenta Introduces First Low-Power RTL Predictive Analysis Capability; Now designers can optimize for power early in the design cycle

Business Editors/High-Tech Writers

SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–May 19, 2003

Atrenta(TM) Inc., the Predictive Analysis Company, is introducing SpyGlass(R) LP to address the need to optimize designs for low power from the outset at RTL. SpyGlass LP enables users to create power-efficient RTL, early in the design cycle, thereby eliminating much of the iterations now common to optimize for power consumption later in the design cycle. The product provides guidance for low power techniques targeting dynamic power, leakage power, and voltage management issues. This is the first product that helps designers deploy low power design methodology and techniques at RTL.

“Power aware design has become critical for wireless as well as wired applications and advances in device technology are presenting new challenges in power minimization,” stated Anantha Chandrakasan, Professor of EECS at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “In order to get power efficient designs, low power techniques need to be incorporated from the beginning. The quality of RTL code is very important for downstream optimizations targeting lower power designs. Atrenta’s predictive analysis techniques can help create power efficient RTL and enable designers to deploy their low power design methodology.”

“There is an ever increasing need to reduce power consumption in not only wireless and portable devices but also non-portable devices due to cooling challenges,” stated Ghulam Nurie, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Business Development, Atrenta. “Atrenta’s SpyGlass LP helps design engineers apply low power techniques from the start when the design is being coded in RTL. By having the RTL designed for low power, you get even better results with downstream power optimization tools. Furthermore, with its built-in knowledge-base of low power design techniques, SpyGlass LP effectively makes every engineer in the design team into a low power design expert.”

Fast Synthesis Key to Power Analysis

Estimating power consumption and designing for low power at RTL is very difficult because power usage is dependent on the actual structure. SpyGlass’ built-in fast synthesis engine quickly synthesizes the RTL into the detailed structure level required to accurately determine areas of focus for low power design needs. With the detailed structural level information available to it, SpyGlass can accurately identify logic structures that should be modified for more efficient power utilization.

Dynamic Power Guidance

SpyGlass LP provides dynamic power guidance in several ways, particularly in the area of clocks. Clock nets account for a large proportion of dynamic power consumption. While clock gating is seen as a useful technique for reducing clock power consumption, looking for clock gating candidates in a given design remains a challenging problem. SpyGlass analyses each flop in the design and uses designer assisted heuristics to come up with the likely gating candidates. It also provides a unique capability by helping designers visualize impact of gated clocks in a given design.

SpyGlass also provides a number of techniques that target datapath, control, busses, and memory units in the design to help guide the RTL towards a good starting point for low power implementation. SpyGlass LP provides guidance on a number of datapath oriented techniques such as the possible use of latches where power hungry units are selectively used and points out possible application of pre-computation. It also examines FSM (Finite State Machine) controllers to ensure that low power design guidelines are followed and provides detailed information on FSMs including issues such as unreachable, dead states, and possible recoding of machines to reduce power consumption.

Voltage Management

A major issue in 0.13-micron and more advanced processes is leakage power. Due to increasing power leakage in existing and future process technologies, multiple voltage (power) domains are often employed to address leakage and voltage scaling needs. This low power design methodology introduces a host of issues that need to be checked at the system level. SpyGlass helps visualize voltage (power) domains at RTL, checks for issues related to signals crossing voltage domain boundaries, and ensures that special design guidelines are being adhered to with respect to different voltage domains.


SpyGlass LP is in Beta testing with customers. Production shipments are expected in the 3rd quarter of 2003.

About SpyGlass

SpyGlass(R) uses a unique predictive analysis technique to perform detailed structural analysis on Verilog and VHDL RTL in order to detect complex design problems early in the design cycle, resulting in reduced development costs, lower risk and faster time to market. SpyGlass’ fast-synthesis engine creates a structural representation of the design allowing the most comprehensive and accurate analysis of RTL to detect problems not normally visible in the RTL. Problems detected include clock domain crossings, synchronization, and timing issues, testability problems, SoC integration requirements, RTL-handoff, design reuse, clock/reset requirements, and coding styles. SpyGlass quickly pinpoints critical problems not generally found until after lengthy simulation and synthesis runs, such as combinational loops, levels of logic and fanout violations, tri-state bus decoding errors, inefficient use of resources and much more. SpyGlass was selected by EDN magazine as one of the Top 100 products for 2002 and also received the “LSI Design of The Year 2002” award by Japan’s Semiconductor Industry News.

About Atrenta

Atrenta’s unique Predictive Analysis technology accelerates the design of SoCs, ASICs and FPGAs by analyzing downstream requirements upfront. Its award-winning SpyGlass family of predictive analysis products performs detailed structural analysis at design creation stage (Verilog and VHDL RTL) to detect complex design problems that are not easily detected with conventional verification methods. SpyGlass has been widely adopted by more than 50 of the world’s leading electronics companies, including eight of the top ten semiconductor companies. Atrenta was chosen by Venture Reporter as one of the top 100 venture-backed companies for 2002.

Atrenta employs over one hundred people worldwide and is headquartered in San Jose, California, with European offices in England and France, a research and development center in India, and sales and support distributors in Central Europe, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and United Kingdom. For further information, visit the Atrenta website at, email, or call 408-453-3333.

Note to Editors: Atrenta and SpyGlass are registered trademarks of Atrenta Inc. All other trademarks belong to their respective owners.

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