It’s all new at the FishTail booth

Portland, Oregon, July 16, 2009 – FishTail Design Automation, Inc., the golden timing constraints company, today announced that it will be demonstrating a slew of new technologies at the 2009 Design Automation Conference in San Francisco, California, July 27-30 at the Moscone Center, booth #3064.


New Merged-Mode Constraint Generation Technology


FishTail invites DAC attendees to attend a joint Texas Instruments and FishTail presentation at the DAC User Track at 9 AM on Wednesday, July 29.The paper titled “The Automatic Generation of Merged-Mode Design Constraints” discusses new technology and a flow for the generation of SDC constraints for a range of design modes using architectural specifications and RTL input. The generation of merged-mode constraints allows designers to reduce the number of constraint files that multi-mode place-and-route tools need to simultaneously meet timing requirements on. The impact is a faster turn-around-time and a better quality constraint file to drive the implementation flow.


The progression of the new technology will continue at the FishTail booth, where DAC attendees will view demonstrations of its application to a back-end design flow. In a back-end flow, FishTail’s Focus tool takes as input multiple SDC files and a gate-level netlist, and the output generated is a single merged-mode constraint file that encapsulates timing requirements for all of the individual mode-specific SDC files. FishTail engineers will explain the tradeoffs that engineers can make to obtain pessimistic, but simple merged-mode constraint files for driving place-and-route and accurate, but more complex constraint files for timing signoff.


New SDC Equivalence Checking Technology


FishTail will also be demonstrating new technology for checking the equivalence between SDC files. FishTail’s SDC equivalence checker allows engineers to establish if the impact of a constraint file as applied to one version of a design is equivalent to the impact of another constraint file as applied to another version of the design. The impact of a constraint file refers to the manner in which registers on a design are clocked and the scope of timing exceptions. Similar to logical equivalence checking, SDC equivalence checking allows engineers to ensure that a signoff constraint file constrains the design in the same way as the golden constraint file used as input to the implementation flow.



New Technology for Constraint Promotion


In addition, FishTail will be demonstrating new technology for the creation of chip-level constraints from block-level constraints. FishTail’s Refocus product promotes block-level constraints up to the chip-level and then pushes these constraints to the boundary of the chip to create a chip-level constraint file. Conflicts between block-level constraints and any existing chip-level constraints are flagged. This technology is useful for system-on-a-chip (SoC) integration teams that need to create an SoC constraint file but only have IP constraints to work with.


New Constraint Debugging Environment


Finally, FishTail will be demonstrating a new constraint debugging environment that allows engineers to understand how clocks propagate in a design and how clock-muxes and clock-gates control clock propagation. The constraint debugging environment allows engineers to understand the scope of timing exceptions in terms of the clock-crossings and timing paths constrained by an exception. This helps establish if a timing exception is written more loosely than it should have been and how it might be tightened up.


“The theory is that you innovate your way through a downturn so you are well poised to gain market share when the economy turns around,” said Ajay Daga, CEO, FishTail Design Automation. “That is exactly what we have done. Over the past year we have made the most significant extensions to our technology portfolio from the time we first launched our products for exception generation. We have taken our product offering into completely new aspects of constraint creation, verification and management.”


To schedule a demonstration, please visit FishTail�s website.


About FishTail Design Automation

Founded in 2002, FishTail Design Automation has set its sights on tackling the difficult problem of precise constraints on chip timing – the area where the success or failure of a design is ultimately determined. The company’s patented technology improves chip implementation by automatically verifying, generating and managing design constraints. FishTail is privately funded. For more information about FishTail, please visit the company’s website at


For more information, contact:


Barbara Benjamin for FishTail

HighPointe Communications