Nassda's Full-Chip Circuit Simulator Provides New Debug and Analysis Capabilities for Nanometer Design

Enhancements Include Power Leakage and Monte Carlo Analyses, and a New CircuitCheck(TM) Debugging Option

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 25, 2002-- Nassda Corp. (Nasdaq: NSDA - news) today announced version 2.0 of HSIM(TM), the latest release of its full-chip circuit verification and analysis software. HSIM analyzes circuit behavior while taking into account the electrical and parasitic effects of nanometer scale silicon for analog, mixed-signal, memory and system-on-chip (SoC) designs. This release delivers new debug and analysis capabilities along with new device model support.

"Nassda's HSIM version 2.0 further enhances the accuracy and nanometer analysis we offer to designers," said Sang Wang, CEO of Nassda. "Over 100 customers are using our technology in their analog, mixed-signal, memory and SoC design flows. We believe this confirms that we offer a necessary verification platform for nanometer design teams to be successful. We expect our technology will become even more widely adopted by the design community as they move to geometries at 180nm and below where the challenges of nanometer design become more difficult."

With version 2.0, HSIM adds several important capabilities including IDDQ power leakage analysis and a new design debugging option, called CircuitCheck, which identifies circuit problems early in design. The new release also includes three additional methods of analysis -- Monte Carlo, AC frequency and DC sweep -- as well as an expanded set of supported MOS and bipolar device models and an enhanced netlist back-annotation feature. The additional HSIM capabilities are designed to meet evolving needs for nanometer verification.

"We believe Nassda's HSIM version 2.0 further strengthens our leadership in nanometer circuit verification with the addition of new analyses and models," stated Dr. An-Chang Deng, president of Nassda. "HSIM's new power leakage analysis is very important to low power designers who are looking to deliver the best designs with the lowest power budget. With our new CircuitCheck option, designers can enjoy faster debug times and catch circuit design problems earlier. We have also added Monte Carlo statistical analysis so designers can better understand and improve the manufacturability of their designs. Nassda continues to meet the nanometer design challenges of companies throughout the world."

IDDQ Power Leakage Analysis

Creating low-power designs is a key requirement for portable electronics. An important component of power consumption is the steady-state, or IDDQ leakage current, in CMOS IC designs. As companies move to smaller geometries at or below 180nm, this leakage current rises dramatically. Before HSIM version 2.0, designers were typically unable to conduct accurate full-chip analysis of IDDQ because designs exceeded the capacity of their existing tools. Now designers of low-power memories and IP are provided the capability to verify that their designs will be within their steady-state power budgets before committing to tapeout.

New CircuitCheck Option

Available for purchase as an option to HSIM version 2.0, CircuitCheck screens, identifies, and reports potential netlist and circuit design problems before designers begin lengthy analyses of designs. By using CircuitCheck, designers can also speed up the debugging process of simulation failures reported by HSIM.

CircuitCheck provides sophisticated static analyses to report signals with excessive rise or fall delays and potential signal nets susceptible to cross-talk noise. CircuitCheck is used before simulation to detect design data and potential usage problems such as uninitialized latches and during simulation to monitor devices for incorrect or undesirable operating conditions. Advanced debug features include the automatic detection of sources that trigger changes in outputs. CircuitCheck can save design teams days to weeks of debug time.

Three New SPICE Analyses

With version 2.0, HSIM now provides three new analyses that are needed by analog designers and library and IP developers. Monte Carlo statistical analysis allows the investigation of how component variation affects the performance and manufacturability of designs. With Monte Carlo analysis, designers can verify whether their designs will be successful despite small changes in component values due to manufacturing fluctuations. AC frequency analysis is now available for designs where analog signal processing and conditioning need to be studied. Lastly, DC sweep analysis provides for creating a series of runs based on changing parameter values for selected components in a design and is used for investigation of various operating conditions.

These new analyses are compatible with existing SPICE simulators, giving analog designers and library and IP developers the ability to use these familiar capabilities in HSIM.

New Device Models

Nassda's HSIM has expanded its set of supported MOS and bipolar device models to meet the demands for higher accuracy analysis in smaller nanometer geometries and at radio frequencies (RF). The latest MOS device model from U.C. Berkeley for nanometer-scale devices, BSIM4.2, is now supported. The Semiconductor Technology Academic Research Center (STARC) of Japan HiSIM MOS model is also supported. Customer-proprietary device models such as Motorola's SSI MOS and the Philips MOS 9 and MOS 11 model types have also been added. For bipolar models, HSIM now supports VBIC1.2 and the new Philips Mextram 504 model. With each new release, HSIM intends to incorporate the latest developments from industry and academic research.

Enhanced Netlist Back-Annotation

HSIM version 2.0 provides support for the back-annotation of parasitic RC data in SPEF format including coupling capacitors for crosstalk noise analysis. Since it accounts for post-layout effects, back-annotation of parasitic data is necessary for accurate analysis of signal integrity, timing and power behavior.

HSIM Meets Nanometer Challenge

HSIM tackles the critical issue of analyzing circuit behavior while taking into account the electrical and parasitic effects of nanometer-scale silicon. Before the availability of HSIM, design teams were unable to analyze these effects with a tool that had the necessary speed, accuracy, and capacity. In a recent benchmark at Mitsubishi Electric, HSIM verified a 512Mb DRAM, with over 2 billion circuit elements, in less than 6 hours on a 32-bit workstation. HSIM's ability to address critical verification issues is reflected in the rate of adoption by design teams throughout the world.

Nassda created HSIM to perform full-chip circuit simulation and analysis of VLSI designs with accuracy within 0-2% of SPICE but at speeds three to four orders of magnitude faster than SPICE. HSIM uses a patent-pending hierarchical technology and targets both pre- and post-layout analysis of circuits.

Pricing and Availability

HSIM Version 2.0 is available in April 2002, and is supported on workstations running Sun Solaris, HP-UX 10.2 and 11, Microsoft Windows NT/2000, and Linux operating systems. Customers under maintenance receive HSIM version 2.0 at no charge. U.S. time-based list prices start at $85,000 for HSIM. The CircuitCheck option to HSIM version 2.0 is now available for purchase. The CircuitCheck U.S. time-based list price is $42,000.

About Nassda

Nassda Corporation (Nasdaq: NSDA - news) is a fast-growing provider of full-chip circuit verification software for complex nanometer semiconductors. Headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., the company develops and markets simulation and analysis solutions for advanced ICs, especially for analog, memory, and mixed-signal SoC designs. Nassda's products enable first silicon success and improve product quality and production yield for its consumer, communication, computer and memory customers. The company has sales and distribution offices throughout the world. For more information about Nassda, please visit the company's website at

Forward-Looking Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements. These statements relate to the performance of certain of Nassda's software and involve uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual performance of achievements of such software to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward looking statements. In some cases, you will be able to identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as "intend," "believe," "may," "will," "expect," "continue," "can" or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements are only predictions and the actual events or results may differ materially, particularly with respect to the continued acceptance of Nassda's existing software and the successful introduction and widespread market acceptance of version 2.0 of Nassda's HSIM. Although Nassda believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, it cannot guarantee future levels of activity, performance or achievements. In addition, neither Nassda nor any other person assumes responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of these forward-looking statements. Nassda disclaims any obligation to update information contained in any forward-looking statement.

Note to Editors: Nassda and HSIM are registered trademarks of Nassda Corporation. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their owners.

     Nassda Corporation
     Graham Bell, 408/562-9168
Email Contact
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