Removing the guesswork from power grid design

Apache Design Solutions’ SkyHawk is an automated constraint-driven power grid generation and optimisation engine for nanometer SoCs.

The new product helps chip designers determine power grid requirements early in the design process, refine the power grid as the design evolves, and analyse it at every stage of the design cycle.

SkyHawk uses the same simulation kernel as RedHawk-SDL, Apache’s signoff dynamic power-grid solution validated in TSMC’s reference flow 5.0.

The new software generates multi-layer, multi-region power grids while honouring all routing, power, and blockage constraints. It also considers the effects of simultaneous switching logic and I/Os when determining the amount and type of routing resources needed by a power grid.

Using SkyHawk, designers can explore different power grid design styles and options. The region-based power grid planning capability enables designers to avoid excessive use of routing resources where power routes are not needed. In addition, it allows designers to explore different options for connecting memories and other intellectual property (IP) blocks to the full-chip grid.

SkyHawk will be available as a beta release in Q3 of this year. It is licensed on Linux, Sun Solaris, and HP-UX.

Annual license pricing varies with configuration and starts at $150,000.