Atrenta Inc. has acquired NextOp Software, Inc., a provider of assertion synthesis technology. Atrenta's products focus on improving efficiency and reducing cost for the design of complex semiconductor IP and system-on-chip (SoC) devices while NextOp's products focus on improving efficiency and reducing cost for the functional verification of IPs and SoCs. The combination of both company's products creates a more complete SoC Realization platform. NextOp's staff based in Santa Clara will move into the Atrenta San Jose facility. On the other hand, the NextOp's Shanghai facility will become the Atrenta office in China. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The acquisition of NextOp allows Atrenta to expand its SpyGlass register transfer level (RTL) platform to include functional verification -- an important component of advanced SoC design. Utilizing patented static and formal analysis techniques, the SpyGlass platform currently provides RTL design efficiency improvements in the areas of linting, clock synchronization, power optimization, testability, timing constraints and physical routing congestion. The SpyGlass platform will in the future be expanded to include functional verification support using NextOp's patented dynamic assertion synthesis technology.
Assertion synthesis leverages design and test bench information to automatically generate high quality assertions and functional coverage properties. Generating assertions and coverage properties manually is tedious and error-prone. Assertions represent a machine-readable version of design intent and are used to improve verification completeness. Functional coverage properties identify functional coverage deficiencies providing guidance for verification teams. When used together, design teams can reduce functional verification time and improve overall functional coverage, resulting in lower design costs, better first-time silicon success and improved quality.
Atrenta plans to fully integrate the BugScope capabilities into the Spyglass platform but, as engineering managers know, such integration will take some time. In the short term NextOp's BugScope assertion synthesis tool will be sold and supported by the combined Atrenta/NextOp worldwide field organization. Dr. Yunshan Zhu, NextOp's President and CEO, will assume the role of vice president, new technologies reporting to Dr. Ajoy Bose, Atrenta's Chairman, president, and CEO. Dr. Yuan Lu, co-founder and CTO of NextOp will assume the role of chief verification architect reporting to Dr. Zhu.
The addition of NextOp's BugScope to the offering from Atrenta results in verification efficiency improvements for semiconductor and consumer electronics developers. Such advantage will not only materialize immediately for existing customers of the two companies, but for new prospects as well. Atrenta position in the EDA market is strengthened both for SoC designs as well as for IP designs. The latter is a key component of Atrenta's collaboration with foundries to supply verified IP to third party designers.
"The addition of NextOp's functional verification technology will give our customers a distinct advantage by providing complete coverage of front end design activities," said Dr. Ajoy Bose, chairman, president and CEO of Atrenta. "Atrenta's customers have come to rely on SpyGlass to verify a broad range of design intent, but functional verification was a missing part of our platform. NextOp's assertion synthesis completes this part of our offering – Atrenta customers will now have added confidence that their designs will work as expected while meeting schedule and performance requirements. We are very excited to bring these innovative solutions and the resulting expanded benefits to our large customer base. "