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Synopsys Debuts Tools at Users Group Meeting

By Jeff Dorsch, Contributing Editor

Aart de Geus, the chairman and co-chief executive officer of Synopsys, speaking at the keynote address Synopsys Users Group Meeting

Aart de Geus, the chairman and co-chief executive officer of Synopsys, used his keynote address at the 2016 Synopsys Users Group conference in Silicon Valley to tout a pair of new products.

Custom Compiler is one new tool. It promises to provide what the company calls “visually-assisted automation” in designing custom ICs.

Custom chip designers have asked, ‘Where are the productivity improvements?” for their line of work, de Geus said Wednesday morning (March 30) at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

Designing advanced chips with 3D transistors, FinFETs, adds complexity to the design process, he noted, with “many more rules” and transistors that have “many fins.”

Custom Compiler offers visually-assisted layout with interactive placement and routing, the Synopsys chairman said. The tool’s capabilities “can bring significant productivity,” he added.

To go with Custom Compiler, Synopsys last week introduced the VCS Cheetah simulation tool for system-on-a-chip designs. As part of the VCS verification suite, Cheetah adds the “fastest engines,” unified compile, and unified debug for complex IC designs, de Geus said.

Cheetah employs fine-grained parallelism and advances in CPU/graphics processing unit architectures to speed up simulation for register-transfer level and gate-level designs, according to Synopsys.

De Geus began his keynote saying, “We are going to change the world again.” By “we,” he meant Synopsys, its customers, and its partners in addressing chip design for the Internet of Things, automotive electronics, and other areas.

IoT, he said, can also stand for “immensely optimistic thinking,” to the general amusement of the large audience for the opening keynote. “Deep down, I’m a great optimist,” de Geus added.

Taking “Smart Everything” as his theme, de Geus moved on to the topic of digital intelligence, which is less ambitious than artificial intelligence. “Digital can do things humans cannot,” he said.

While some people will debate whether applications, the computing cloud, the networking edge, or “the fog” is the true center of attention for the IoT, de Geus broke it down to sensors with data storage and some data processing capability, “generating massive amounts of data” – Big Data, as it is commonly known.

Developing the Internet of Things calls for consideration of “technomics,” de Geus said. The impact of IoT technology will be “very long and very broad,” he said.

All of the hardware and software going into the IoT must be secure, according to de Geus, making sure that “the Internet of Threats” doesn’t take over the technology.

Synopsys has made a substantial investment in code security through its acquisition of Coverity and other moves, the Synopsys chairman said. He also addressed automotive-grade intellectual property for chip design and the introduction of data fusion in the IC design process.

“What we need is smart everybody,” de Geus concluded.

SNUG Silicon Valley 2016 continues through Thursday with 10 topic tracks and 52 presentations for Synopsys users. Almost 2,500 users are attending the two-day conference, it was said.

Chenming Hu, a University of California at Berkeley professor, is scheduled to give Thursday’s keynote address on “What Else Besides FinFET?”



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