Prolific Solves Standard Cell Puzzle
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Prolific Solves Standard Cell Puzzle

Unveils "three-nines" completion rate using next-generation synthesis - place & route technology

NEWARK, Calif. -- March 26, 2002 -- Prolific, the leading provider of automated standard cell creation software, today announced breakthrough technology for standard cell design with the release of its ProGenesis 2002 software. ProGenesis 2002's new hierarchical transistor-level synthesis and dynamic router solves the standard cell puzzle with better-than-handcraft quality layout a 99.9% completion rate. Its completion rate and high-density output make ProGenesis 2002 a vast improvement over the tedious and expensive process of hand-drawing libraries. The new synthesis and routing technology also significantly improves upon the output of existing standard cell creation software, which is crippled by flat transistor-level synthesis and maze routing, and produces lower-quality layout with only a seventy five percent completion rate.

Standard cells, the building blocks of integrated circuits, have significant effects on all aspects of design — and routinely determine the performance, power consumption, area and yield. The Prolific ProGenesis™ family, in production use since 1995 and silicon proven in .35 through .13 micron processes, enables designers to quickly and accurately create standard cell libraries. ProGenesis custom tailors libraries for design requirements and process technology, and optimizes them for performance, power, area and yield.

Eliminating the delay-prone hand-drawing process is key, because once the design rules and cell architecture are frozen, ProGenesis allows the production library to be re-generated in a matter of hours versus weeks. In addition, ProGenesis creates an architectural feedback loop that enables on-the-fly optimizations. These optimizations increase the intelligence of the standard cells and add the ability to implement high yield design considerations without sacrificing area.

"The three questions semiconductor firms need to ask are: (1) What is a 3 month time-to-market reduction worth to your company? (2) What is a 5% yield enhancement worth? (3) How much would a more competitive end product — higher performance, lower power, and smaller area — be worth?" noted Dan Nenni, vice president of marketing at Prolific. "Customers are telling us that the answer is millions of dollars per year."

Standard cell development has been the last piece of the EDA process to elude automation. The first attempts at automation failed, and the legacy of those failures has prevailed until today, leaving standard cell development and deployment still largely being done by hand, well outside the mainstream EDA flow. Hand layout, which requires design rules and cell architecture that are finalized to be useful, isolates the standard cell design process from the definition and refinement of the overall design process.

Prolific's ProGenesis allows creation of usable layout while the design rules and cell architecture are still in flux, because the technical specifications are processed automatically without compromising the validity of the existing layout. This enables designers to consider the architectural impact of different design styles by running characterization or place and route tests on the cells created with early versions of the design rules. This eases resource limitations, improves library intelligence and shortens time-to-market. Furthermore, the ProGenesis approach, which combines synthesis, generation, and compaction, ensures design optimization, improving performance, area, and power consumption.

ProGenesis 2002 Features Includes:

About Prolific
Founded in 1995, Prolific Inc. develops the leading software for automatically creating standard cells without giving up custom design styles. Prolific's ProGenesis™ suite allows designers to quickly and accurately create optimized standard-cell libraries using design-specific information contained in a SPICE netlist, process-specific information defined in design rules, and designer-specific options specified in the cell template. The Prolific ProLiquid™ approach integrates the creation of standard cell libraries into the mainstream EDA flow, enabling design-specific standard cells to be created on the fly during the synthesis and place-and-route phase of the EDA design flow. Prolific is headquartered in Newark, Calif., at 39899 Balentine Dr., Suite 380, Newark, CA 94560, telephone 510/252-0490, fax 510/252-0491. For more information, visit

For more information, contact:
Michelle Hurtado
(510) 252-0490
Email Contact

ProLiquid and ProGenesis are trademarks of Prolific Inc. Prolific acknowledges trademarks or registered trademarks of other organizations for their respective products and services.