FishTail Tools Demonstrate 50% Timing Slack Improvement in Latest STARC Production Flow

Portland, Oregon, January 25, 2006 – FishTail Design Automation, Inc., the golden timing constraints company, today announced that Japan’s Semiconductor Technology Academic Research Center (STARC) will release a new production flow for chip implementation using FishTail’s technology for timing exception generation. The STARCAD-21 Flow Version 3.0 includes the use of FishTail products to improve implementation Quality of Results (QoR) and Turn around Time (TAT).

STARC engineers conducted extensive evaluations of the Focus™ and Refocus™ products from FishTail on real customer designs. Several different methodologies for the integration of the timing exceptions generated by Focus into logic and physical synthesis tools were considered before making the final flow recommendation. On a 500K gate microprocessor design from one of STARC’s member companies, the new flow demonstrated substantial improvement in chip timing over what was previously obtained using user constraints. The total negative slack for the design improved from 70ns to 33ns and the worst negative slack dropped from -0.5ns to -0.3ns. This improvement was made possible by the detailed false paths generated by the Focus product, all of which were verified to be correct using a variety of exception verification tools and methodologies.

“We are enthusiastic in our endorsement of FishTail’s products for the generation of timing exceptions,” said Nobuyuki Nishiguchi, Vice President, General Manager Development Dept.-1 of STARC. “Our detailed study has clearly shown that the use of FishTail exceptions in the chip-implementation flow will provide substantial improvement in design QoR and TAT.”

“Our close partnership with STARC has resulted in the development of a flow that will benefit not only engineers in Japan but those worldwide,” stated Ajay Daga, founder and CEO of FishTail. “The pain experienced by chip-implementation engineers in trying to get a chip to timing closure while working with an incomplete constraint set is real and recurring. Our proven ability to unambiguously address this pain makes our suite of tools for the generation and verification of timing exceptions an absolute must for high-performance chip design.”

About Focus
FishTail’s Focus™ product solves the time-consuming problem of poor chip-implementation results because of missing or incorrect timing exceptions by formally identifying false and multi-cycle paths early in the design cycle before virtual prototyping and logic synthesis. In addition, Focus also generates assertions that justify why a user-specified false-path or multi-cycle path definition is correct. Using only the synthesizable description and clock definitions, Focus automatically generates the timing exceptions for the design in standard SDC file format for use by downstream implementation tools.

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 identifying exceptions to single-cycle clocking from RTL descriptions. FishTail is privately funded. For more information about FishTail and Focus, please visit the company’s website at

FishTail and the Focus are trademarks of FishTail Design Automation, Inc. All other brand names and product names are the property of their respective owners.

For more information, contact:

Barbara Marker for FishTail
HighPointe Communications