Siemens Acquires Avatar, Expands EDA Footprint With Innovative Place and Route Technology


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Siemens has signed an agreement to acquire Santa Clara, CA-based Avatar Integrated Systems Inc., a leading developer of place and route software for integrated circuit (IC) design. Avatar helps engineers optimize power, performance, and area (PPA) for complex chips with fewer resources. Siemens plans to add Avatar's technology to the Xcelerator portfolio as part of Mentor's IC suite of software, capitalizing on the growing segment of place and route. Avatar will be integrated with existing market-leading products from Mentor, a Siemens Business, including the Calibre® platform, Tessent™ software, and Catapult™ HLS software, to help customers develop solutions that address today's and tomorrow's design implementation challenges.

"Customers are accelerating their move to advanced process nodes. Navigating the increasing complexity is a crucial challenge," said Joseph Sawicki, executive vice president, Mentor IC EDA, Siemens Digital Industries Software. "Avatar's innovative software architecture, as well as a reputation for ease of use, helps customers overcome this complexity with advanced node place and route capability. The Avatar solution, backed by Siemens' investment, will offer customers shorter time to design closure with better PPA results than existing competitive offerings. We welcome the Avatar team and community to Siemens."

At 7nm and below, detailed routing must be considered during placement. Avatar pioneered a detailed-route-centric architecture that has been built bottom-up on a unified in-memory data model, designed to enable all engines to access full design data and attributes at any time. This empowers each engine (placement, routing, timing, optimization, clock tree synthesis, etc.) to dynamically invoke other engines incrementally.

"Avatar's approach can lead to excellent correlation through all phases of place and route, with improved PPA results," said Ping San Tzeng, Chief Technical Officer, Avatar Integrated Systems. "As a part of Siemens, Avatar can further develop this approach, accelerate R&D, and grow market share by leveraging a much larger pool of resources. We are proud of our technical achievements and well-known record for excellent customer support and look forward to enhancing these strengths as part of Siemens." 

Avatar's products are built on technologies acquired from ATopTech Inc. in 2017. The product line includes Aprisa, a netlist-to-GDS full-function block-level physical implementation tool, and Apogee, a complete top-level prototyping, floor-planning and chip assembly tool. The industry's top semiconductor foundries have qualified Avatar's products for designs at established and advanced process nodes, such as 28nm and 7nm - with 6nm and 5nm currently under development.

Siemens' acquisition of Avatar is expected to close in the second half of 2020. Terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

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