EDA needs more CEOs like Amit Gupta. Solido, which is now profitable, is his second AMS EDA company. The first, Analog Design Automation (ADA), was purchased by Synopsys for a hefty multiplier. Prior to becoming an EDA entrepreneur, Amit was product manager for the wireless group at Nortel and a hardware engineer for the RF communications group at Harris Corporation. I like the Q&A blogs Daniel and Paul do on SemiWiki so here is my first one:
Q: What are the specific custom IC design challenges your customers are facing?
We segment the challenges our customers are facing in the following areas:
As you can see, the common theme is that the number of SPICE simulations required to get complete design coverage is exploding, which is leading designers to compromise accuracy to get their designs out sooner, or compromise design time to get accurate results.
Our customers are facing these challenges when doing memory, standard cell, lower power and analog/RF design.
Q: What does Solido Design do?
Solido provides variation analysis and design software for custom IC’s so that our customers can achieve maximum yield and performance in their designs. Solido’s product, Variation Designer, boosts SPICE simulator efficiency while increasing design coverage. Solido Variation Designer is being used by top semiconductor companies to design memory, standard cell, analog/RF and low power custom IC designs at leading design nodes including TSMC and GLOBALFOUNDRIES 40nm, 28nm, 20nm, 16nm.
Q: Why did you start Solido?
This is the second EDA startup I founded – I really enjoy entrepreneurship and the process of starting and building a business to address user challenges. I co-founded Solido in 2005 after my previous company, Analog Design Automation, was acquired by Synopsys. We talked to many companies about upcoming challenges they were facing, and quickly realized that variation in custom IC design was a common theme. We then raised about $10 million in investment capital and worked very closely with lead companies in developing the v1.0 alpha of our product – Solido Variation Designer. Now, we are releasing Solido Variation Designer v3.0 which is in use by top semiconductor companies and qualified by the top foundries.
Q: How does Solido help with your customers’ custom IC design challenges?
Our customers use the following capabilities in our Variation Designer product:
Overall, while SPICE simulator companies are focused on improving speed, accuracy and capacity of their tools, Solido is complementarily focused on intelligently figuring out what to simulate giving better design coverage in a reduced number of simulations than brute force.
Q: What are the tool flows your customers are using?
Our customers use Solido Variation Designer with their SPICE simulator of choice. Variation Designer is integrated with Cadence Spectre/SpectreRF/APS, Synopsys HSPICE/HSIM/FineSim/XA, Mentor Eldo, BDA AFS, Agilent GoldenGate. Through our partnership with Cadence, Solido Variation Designer is integrated with Analog Design Environment (ADE), or alternatively our customers input designs through the command line. Variation Designer is integrated with Platform LSF, Oracle Grid Engine and Runtime Design Automation NetworkComputer to run 10’s or 100’s of simulators in parallel. Finally, Solido is qualified in the TSMC, GLOBALFOUNDRIES and STARC reference flows for variation analysis and design.
Q: What is the roadmap for Solido?
We’ve developed a rich custom IC design software platform:
Going forward we will continue to work with customers and foundries to address advanced node custom IC design challenges. Having a custom IC design software platform allows us to build new capabilities very quickly and efficiently by leveraging our existing software integrations and enhancing, adapting and inventing algorithmic engines.
Q: Will you be at the Design Automation Conference this year?
Yes, we will be exhibiting at DAC. Readers can sign up here for a Solido Variation Designer demo: http://www.solidodesign.com/
Q: Where can readers get more information?
Some sources of more information: